4 Medium red beets (with 1-inch stems intact)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1-inch strips
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored, cut into 1-inch strips
4 cups vegetable broth
About 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash the beets in cold water. Wrap the wet beets in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast until the beets are fork tender, 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size.
When they are cool enough to handle, peel and coarsely chop or slice the beets.
In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the paper and pear; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the beets and cook for 10 minutes more, until all the produce is tender.
Let the soup cool slightly.
Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Remove 1 cup broth from the soup and reserve.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender. If it is too thick, add enough of the reserved broth to reach the desired consistency.
Cover and refrigerate.
Toast the soup before serving. It may need more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice, as chilling can dull those flavors.
Ladle the soup into small demitasse cups or pots de crème cups. Top each serving with a sprinkling of cheese.