1. Simmer the trimmed beetroots in their skins in a saucepan of water for about 30-40 minutes or until tender, see tip. Drain, then wearing rubber gloves, rub off their skins. Dice into bite-size chunks and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, Prepare the vegetables and apples reserving the peelings. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Drop in the onion and fry until soft, then stir in the parsnips, apples, garlic, ginger, thyme, cloves and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry for about 4-5 minutes until softened then mix in the tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Have the stock simmering away in another pan on another hob. Drop in the reserved onion skins and other peelings from the vegetables into the stock as you cook. Stir the diced beetroot into the softened vegetables. Pour the stock into this, scraping any caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the flavours have all mixed well.
4. Leave the soup to cool slightly, add the vinegar and then blend to a purée with a stick blender. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche and chopped chives if desired.