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Traditional Borscht

Borscht is a traditional Eastern European soup that is served either hot or cold. There are many different variations, but this is a good starting point.
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 medium beets thoroughly washed
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 Tbsp of cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1/2 head of cabbage thinly chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans with their juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups water and 6 cups broth to get 16 cups liquid total
  • 5 Tbsp ketchup
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Fill a large soup pot with 16 cups of water. Add 2 – 3 beets. Cover and boil for about 1 hour. Once you can smoothly pierce the beets with a butter knife, remove from the water and set aside to cool. Keep the water.
  2. Slice 3 potatoes, add into the same water and boil 15-20 minutes.
  3. Grate both carrots and dice one onion. Add 4 Tbsp of cooking oil to the skillet and sauté vegetables until they are soft (7-10 minutes). Stir in ketchup when they are almost done cooking.
  4. Add thinly shredded cabbage to the pot when potatoes are halfway done.
  5. Peel and slice the beets into match-sticks and add them back to the pot.
  6. Add 6 cups chicken broth, lemon juice, pepper, bay leaves and can of kidney beans (with their juice) to the pot.
  7. Add sautéed carrots and onion to the pot along with chopped dill.
  8. Cook another 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is done.

Recipe Notes

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if serving hot. To serve chilled, simply make a day in advance and refrigerate. Take out about 15 minutes to a half hour before serving so the flavors will be noticeable.
Serves 4 as a meal, or 6 as an introductory course