2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, defatted, divided
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
4 cups canned beets, drained and divided
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Wisconsin parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 Wisconsin parmesan cheese croutons (recipe follows)
Wisconsin Parmesan cheese Croutons:
8 slices (1/2 inch thick) French bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons grated Wisconsin parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
In small, heavy saucepan, cook onions in 1/4 cup stock until onions are limp. Add 3 cups beets and remaining 2 cups stock; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly and puree until very smooth.
Pour mixture into large container with a lid. Stir in buttermilk, parmesan and remaining 1 cup beets, diced. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
To serve, ladle approximately 1 cup soup into soup bowl and top with a parmesan crouton.
Parmesan Cheese Croutons: Place bread slices on baking sheet and lightly brush with oil. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan and pepper. Bake croutons at 400° F for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbling. Cool and serve with chilled soup.