Make sure you have a big pot for this soup, ‘cause if you’re going to make Borscht you may as well make a lot. This soup keeps well because of the amount of vinegar in it but it also freezes well. Chances are, it won’t last long if you have a bunch of hungry Ukrainians in your family or if you just plain like beets! So…here we go
- Two large onions – diced
- One head of celery- bite size chop
- 6 bay leaves
- Four cloves of garlic – minced
- Six medium size carrots- bite size chop
- four large potatoes- soup chop ( same thing as bite size chop)
- One small head of cabbage- shredded
- Four medium size parsnips ( optional…only if you like parsnips) – soup chop
- Eight medium size beets – julienned (like matchsticks)
- 19oz. Can o’ diced tomatoes
- Salt and peeper to taste
- fresh or dry dill weed – 1 Tbsp
- dill pickle juice – 1/2 cup
- white vinegar – 1/4 cup
In your really large pot add about 3-4 Tbsps of oil ( like olive oil, canola, or avocado oil – whatever you have on hand.) Heat oil at medium heat for a few minutes. Then add your onions, celery, and bay leaves to the pot and let that cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir often, do not let it get brown or burnt! Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Now it’s time to add the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. And parsnips if you’re adding parsnips. Cook for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are starting to get soft. Make sure to stir often.
Alright! This is where it starts to get exciting! Add your beets and canned diced tomatoes. Now add enough water so that it covers the vegetables by about an inch or two. This soup is supposed to be really thick so be careful not to add too much water. There is no need to add any soup stock to this because the vegetables create their own stock.
Okay, add your salt, pepper, dill, dill pickle juice, and white vinegar to the mix and let it come to a boil at medium to high heat, stirring often. Give the broth a taste and adjust the seasonings as you like it. Now just let it simmer on a low heat for about an hour or so.
Have a shot or two of Vodka ( a good Ukrainian beverage) or a glass of wine while you’re waiting.
The borscht should be a deep red colour and the vegetables should be firm not mushy. It is now time to enjoy! Serve with a dollop of sour cream ( a good Ukrainian condiment) and rye bread is always a nice addition.
Note: don’t worry if the sour cream curdles a bit in the borscht. It’s supposed to! Just have another shot of Vodka and everything will be okay.