Babas Best Borscht
5 to 6 beets depending how large (use best judgement, enough to make a large pot of H2O
1/2 kg green beans (depending on how much you want to make)
4 to 8 potatoes
4 to 8 carrots
2/3 cup cooked beans (i.e. black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans)
2 to 3 veggie stock cubes (depending on volume)
onions and celery - to fill the bottom of the pot
1/2 to 1 full head cabbage
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
Salt to taste
1 or 2 bay leafs
large bunch dill
oil to fry the onions and celery.
1) Cook the onions and celery in some unflavored oil of your choice on high heat. (Preferably in the largest pot that you own because this will make lots of soup. It gets better as left overs).
2) Add hot water until the pot is approximately 2/3 full.
3) Cut the stems off the green beans and add them to the pot along with the flavor cubes and the bay leafs.
4) Add the carrots, potatoes and beans (canned or cooked from dried). The carrots should probably be peeled but the potatoes need not be. Cut the potatoes and carrots into smallish sized chunks. Cook until the potatoes are tender. As to the volume of carrots and potatoes to add, to taste is good. This recipe is more like a list of ingredients, you could add things or vary the proportions. It doesn't really matter except that the general consensus is that there are things that wouldn't taste very good in borscht (like peppers or mushrooms but any of your favorite root veg. would work well).
5) Add beets until the soup stock looks very red. (beets should be peeled and cubed.) Cook until beets are tender.
6) Add the 1/2 can of crushed tomatoes.
7) Shred the cabbage and add to the pot. These should be in small bite sized flakes. Cook until cabbage seems almost done.
8) Add a bunch of dill (until your kitchen smells strongly like dill and you can taste it in the soup). Dill can be replaced with sorrel (herb). If you substitue sorrel with dill I think its traditional to leave out the beets.
9) Add salt to taste.
Now the soup is ready to eat. Eat with non-dariy sourcream or add a little unflavored soy milk to your soup bowl before eating. This is really cheap to make I guess partially because it makes so much. My Baba makes this for me when she comes to visit. Its really very good.