Cook up a crock of Gloria’s borscht

Judging from the number of responses to the request for beet soup recipes, that makes this particular soup a hot topic and, therefore, a top priority.

“This is a really delicious recipe that I’ve been making for years. Everyone who tries it wants the recipe!” Monroe cook Gloria Anaka tells us.

“I originally got it from the Internet. I have made adaptations to the recipe over the years, and they appear in this recipe.

“I always make borscht for Christmas and all our families love it. When I made the slow-cooker borscht recipe this year, it was even a bigger hit.

“It’s so easy to make and the cook does not have to watch over it like you would if it was cooking on the stove.”

Gloria’s slow-cooker borscht

1pound top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4medium beets, peeled and chopped

1can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

2medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1cup baby carrots, cut into bite-size pieces

1onion, chopped

3cloves garlic, minced

3cups shredded green cabbage (can add this at the end of cooking time; takes about 1/2 hour — if you like more texture in the cabbage — but Gloria just throws it in with all the veggies)

2-4 cups beef broth

1can (6 ounces) tomato paste

6tablespoons red wine vinegar

3tablespoons brown sugar

1tablespoon dried parsley

1teaspoon salt

11/2teaspoons dried dill weed

Cracked black pepper to taste

1bay leaf

2tablespoons sour cream per person, or reduced-fat sour cream to taste per person

Combine the beef and all of the chopped vegetables, with or without the cabbage. If you leave it out at the start, be sure to add it the last 30 minutes of cooking time. You will need a big oval slow cooker.

Combine the beef broth with the tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, parsley, salt, dill weed, pepper and bay leaf. Mix to combine and pour it over the vegetable-beef mixture.

If the vegetable-beef mix is not completely covered by the liquid, top off with extra beef broth until they are.

Cover and cook on the low heat setting for 8 1/2 hours.

(You can cheat and cook it on high heat for 4 hours if you’re in a hurry, but don’t expect it to be as good!)

When the full 8 1/2 hours are up, remove the bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste. I often add more dill.

Ladle into bowls and garnish each with 2 tablespoons sour cream (or reduced-fat sour cream to taste). Serve immediately.

Makes about 8 bowls.

Leftover borscht can be cooled and refrigerated. It tastes better the next day. Enjoy!

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