5-6 medium sized red ace beets
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 large or 2 medium sized potatoes, diced (Kennebek or Yukon gold work nicely)
6-8 cups water
1/2 cabbage, shredded, optional
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped dill
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar or juice of 2 lemons
1. Drop the beets into boiling water and cook until they can be pierced easily with a knife. Place into cold water until cooled. Peel the beets (the skins should now slip off easily) and cut into thin strips.
2. In soup pot, sauté the onion in the oil until softened but not browned. Salt the onion a bit to help it become tender. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer till just beginning to brown.
3. Add the beets, carrots, potato and water and cook until the vegetables are just tender. Add the shredded cabbage and cook until tender.
4. Add the tomato paste, dill, salt and pepper to taste. At the end, add lemon juice or vinegar to taste to make the soup slightly tart. Serve very hot. Top with dill.
A chunk of deep black pumpernickel bread makes a nice eating utensil. Wonderful cold the next day.