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Ukrainian Borscht

What you need: 

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

What you do: 

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.

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I'd give this four stars or so. It's REALLY good with bred, but without it it's rather bland. I even spiced it up quite a bit. I also used parsnips instead of carrots and I added Swicc Chard at the end and pureed everything. I'll try Italean seaning next time instead of just thyme. I'll probably make this again sometime, but a  LOT less. I even cut it in half and had mounds of it. 

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I have tried so many borscht recipes and almost all of them have turned out sub par but not this one, this one was great! This is my go-to borscht recipe from now on. I like the tart/vinegary flavor a lot so I pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar into the bowl.

No matter what borscht recipe you make, it is very time consuming but definitely worth it once it's done. Like mountain_veg stated, I also recommend taking the time to cut the beets into strips (you could even shred it if you really wanted to).

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I did some traveling in Poland recently, and I had Ukranian Barzcz quite often then. I tried this recipe tonight, and while the base seemed rather similar to what I had in Europe, the recommended amount of lemon juice seemed to be much too much. I think the soup tasted much better right before the lemon was added, though it would probably also taste quite good with a significantly reduced amount of lemon. Also, the Ukranian Barzcz that I had in Poland always included beans, which was a nice and hearty addition. Aside from decreasing the lemon and adding some red beans, and maybe increasing the amount of tomato paste just a tad, this recipe would be a very enjoyable soup.

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This is incredible, a totally addicting soup.

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I agree with M. Orel: this is one of the best soups EVER.  I can't stop eating it!  It's very close to what my Ukrainian Baba used to make, and this makes me very happy. 

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, with a couple minor exceptions: I added a bit of celery at the start and used 3 veg stock cubes (6 cups worth for 8 cups water) just to give it a bit of extra flavor depth . I used lemon at the end and it worked great. It really wasn't hard to make either, just a bit time consuming. Although it's a bit of a pain, I do recommend cutting the beets into strips like the recipe says. I used a tip I read in another recipe that said to cut all your beets over the sink to reduce the "beet effect" where your entire kitchen turns red after cooking something with beets.

I searched around for borscht recipes similar to what I remembered and this was the closest I could find. It's a wonderful recipe and more people should try it!

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This recipe is now among the top ten of my favorites. 
Thank you Norabell for posting it. 

M. Orel

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Why not??? It looks vegetarian.

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