Classic Russian borscht
(makes 4 entree-sized servings or 8 first-course servings)
1 ½ pounds (2 large) diced Russet potatoes
1 pound (1 large) chopped beet
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups diced yellow onion
1 ½ cups chopped carrot
1 ½ cups chopped celery
1 ½ cups red cabbage, rough chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper
Add potatoes, beets, broth and water to a large soup pot. Boil until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, stir in onion and salt and cook over medium heat until soft. Add carrots, celery, cabbage and two cups of broth from saucepan. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.
After all vegetables are tender, transfer to soup pot and stir in tomato paste, vinegar and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
After the final simmer, ladle into bowls then top each serving with sour cream.
You can use six cups vegetable (even beef or chicken) broth, six cups water or any combination of the two. The measurements in this recipe are just for convenience; broth is usually sold in four-cup containers. Using broth will give you a richer flavor, but you won't be sacrificing a lot if you use water instead, there are enough veggies to compensate.
Skip the meat and serve beets. Thick-cut vegetables are all you'll need for this dish, hearty enough to serve as a main course. This simple Russian beet soup combines beets, cabbage, carrots, celery and potatoes in a rich broth. Eat it for dinner and then pack it for lunch; it's better each day.
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