A bunch of parsley and herbs. A few drops of cochineal. Half a small lettuce.
Wash all earth from its roots. Be very careful not to break the skin; if this is done the root will "bleed," and lose much of its colour.
Cut off the roots and crown of the beetroot, peel it, and slice it thinly.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and chopped onion. Stir these over a gentle heat for a few minutes without browning them. Add the stock, and stir over the fire until the soup boils. Add the herbs, tied together, the cloves, shredded celery, and beetroot. Boil the soup gently for about twenty-five minutes; if cooked too long the colour will be spoilt.
Pour the soup on to a hair-sieve, and rub through enough of the beetroot to make the soup of a good colour and consistency. Add the cream and a careful seasoning of salt and pepper.
The soup should be of a fairly deep pink tint; hence, if the beetroot was not a good colour, it may be necessary to add a few drops of cochineal.
Wash the lettuce thoroughly, dry it lightly with a clean cloth, and tear it into fine shreds. Put it in a hot tureen, pour the soup on to it, and serve.