Borscht

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
4 fresh beetroot (about 680g, without stems and greens), un-peeled
60 to 80g sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
2.1 litres beef stock
One 450g tin whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 parsley sprigs
1/4 1 head Savoy cabbage (about 225g), cored, cut into 2cm wedges, and shredded
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks (white part only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
45g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp salt
60ml plus 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more for passing at the table
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1) In a large saucepan, cover the beetroot with cold water by 2cm. Stir in 60ml of the vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, and peel the beetroot. Dice the beetroot and set aside.

2) Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, garlic, and caraway seeds and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes.

3) Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen string and add to the pot with the beetroot, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes to bring the flavours together.

4) Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Season with pepper to taste. To serve divide among warm soup bowls, top with dollops of the sour cream and sprinkle with the dill. Serve with additional vinegar at the table.

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