Amuse Beetroot Soup Shots

Celebrate the season in style by sipping a warm glass of Halloween blood

Celebrate the season in style by sipping a warm glass of Halloween blood

A moment ago we were still enjoying the carefree warmth of long summer days and suddenly the nights are turning long again. By late afternoon the shadows already begin to creep up. By early evening an inky blackness has spread. And as every child knows danger lurks in the dark; monsters, ghouls and unimaginable horror. All of a sudden it is Halloween again – the marker of the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death.

Time to usher in the winter season and to celebrate an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle.

Kick off your Halloween party with these elegant little “blood” shots as appetizer. To stay in the theme serve them with some black grissini.

Should you have already had your Halloween celebrations there is no need to wait until next year to enjoy this little treat. These beetroot shots are a stylish amuse for any dinner party – great for the festive season that is right on our doorstep. (Although in that case I would leave out the plastic spiders….)

Not only do these little shots look stunning and taste fantastic, they can be prepared ahead and can either kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for up to a month in advance.


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(I have made these shots for years and have no idea where I found this recipe or who I have to thank for it)
About 1 liter which makes 20 glasses of 50ml

Optional: black plastic spiders
1 bunch (15g) fresh tarragon
200ml yoghurt (use a liquid
2 red onion
3 tbsp light brown sugar (NL: gele basterdsuiker)
75ml red wine
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 liter vegetable stock (hot)
500g cooked or roasted beets*
Salt, pepper


  1. Bring some water to the boil and pour over the plastic spiders to clean them.
  2. Chop the tarragon and blend all but 2 tbsp with the yoghurt.
  3. Optional: place a spider half-way in each ice cube.
  4. Spread the yoghurt in an ice cube tray, cover with cling film and allow to freeze.
  5. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  6. Place the onion in a pot and add the sugar. Cover with a lid and cook for 10min on a medium flame. Keep the lid on the pot and shake once in a while.
  7. Add the red wine and vinegar. Cook until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
  8. Peel the beetroot, cut into small cubes and add to the pan.
  9. Pour in the hot stock.
  10. Add the 2 tbsp of tarragon you reserved. Allow all to cook gently for about 15min.
  11. Blend smooth using an (immersion) blender.
  12. Pass the puree though a fine meshed sieve.
  13. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  14. Serve the soup in small (shot) glasses with an ice cube.
  15. To store: The soup can be cooled and kept in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively it can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. Remove from the freezer a day before serving to allow to defrost in the fridge. Heat for 5min on a medium flame.

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Tips & Variations

Consider some of the following

I prefer roasting beets but they can also be cooked. Heat oven to about 200C (400F) Wash the beets. No need to peel. Fold a large piece of aluminum foil double. Place the beets on top and rub with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap the foil loosely around the beets make sure the foil is closed well. Roast the beets for 40-60 min or until a knife pierces the beets easily. The beets keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Serve with

More Halloween party treats

  1. This is so cool…love the look of “bloody” beet juice! So creative, will use for Halloween next year! 😉

    • afracooking said:

      I just love how Halloween brings out the child in everyone! It really is one of my favourite holidays. So glad you like the idea 

  2. Liz said:

    This combination is very unique. Red onions, beet and red wine. It’s something worth trying because I am so curious about the taste! I wonder what it tastes like…Talk about long nights. The nights are much longer there than here!

    • afracooking said:

      It really is worth giving this recipe a shot (no pun intended ;-> ). The flavours work beautifully together. I actually served these for a few special dinner parties before I had the idea to use the recipe for “Halloween blood”. And yes, it really is getting dark: I had a long workday today which meant I went into the office when it was dark and came back out when it was dark again. Oh well, beautiful days for lighting candles…

      • Liz said:

        I remember the days I used to ride my bike in the dark and back in the dark. I know what you mean. The thing I loved most, was candles everywhere and windows without curtains. I enjoyed glimpsing the beautiful living rooms with candles in every corner. Have a great weekend!

  3. sarahjmir said:

    So creative! I just made vegetable soup :p

    • afracooking said:

      Autumn really is the season for soups! Glad you like the recipe 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you so much for the compliment! This beet shot would be a wonderful prelude to one of your beautiful autumn salads like the Endive and Fig one you posted a while back

    • afracooking said:

      hihi, you bet you, they will freak you  And you will freak out again when your first guest decides to hold a spider in a way that it looks like it is climbing out of his or her mouth 

  4. Karen said:

    With the time change it is dark here before 5…very long nights indeed. Your beet shots sound good, a flavorful way to start a meal.

    • afracooking said:

      I feel bad about complaining now: it gets dark even earlier where you are. Well, I just hope you are enjoying cosy long evenings with candle light and delicious meals  (And thank you again for your pointer about the omission in my recipe. Ever so grateful for that!)

  5. I like the original blood-drinks. blood-stout, blood-sausage, virgin-blood and some more of this red stuff

    • afracooking said:

      My experience is limited to blood-sausage here, but I am with you on that one. I have enjoyed my fare share of black pudding at breakfast, Himmel und Erde, boudin and morcilla but you triggered me to have a look at what the rest of the world has to offer. And I found the most amazing Asian dishes – still so much to experience!

  6. Absolutely love these little blood shots and beetroot, just tastes so very good in everything! The addition of the spiders makes it extra spooky and perfect for ghoulish feast-ivities!

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you for those lovely comments. It really is a fabulous – I mean horrific – start to a scary Halloween evening.

  7. you know what, i’m feeling healthier just by reading this post!!!!
    damn delicious beetroot soup..

    • afracooking said:

      hihi, I am sure it is the spiders that add to the healthy feeling 😉

    • afracooking said:

      Aaaw, that is just so nice of you to say! Looks like this recipe hits all the right nerves!

  8. ciao! you inspire my appetite. i will be making this for my dinner party tomorrow. so like the halloween theme…it’s all about the moment but tempted to include spiders:) just the best for the season…beets are favourites.

    • afracooking said:

      I hope you had a fabulous party! How did the shots turn out? Did you include the spiders 🙂

  9. Sophie33 said:

    I am a big beetroot lover & love your tasty soup shots! x

    • afracooking said:

      I am not a fan of soups (at all) but a little shot of these I really enjoy 🙂

      • oki doki, Afra! x

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