Makes 8-10 servings
- ~1 lb (~1/2 lbs) beef or pork, preferably with a bone
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp salt, or to taste
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 medium beets, julienned thinly or sliced in matchstick shapes
- 1 small cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage, shredded finely
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, grated on a coarse grater or diced finely
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vinegar (optional)
- 1 large clove of Russian garlic or 3 cloves regular garlic, crushed
1. Place meat, 1 tbsp salt, and bay leaves into a large pot. Add ~3 L of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for ~45 minutes, skimming off foam periodically.
2. Meanwhile, peel and cube potatoes.
3. Peel and julienne beats or grate on a coarse grater. Finely shred cabbage.
4. When stock is ready, remove meat from broth. Remove 1 cup of broth and set aside. Add potatoes and beets to the stock and cook on medium-low for ~10 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for a further 15 minutes.
4. Chop meat into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
5. Meanwhile, peel and dice onion. Peel and grate carrot on a course grater. Add enough oil to a frying pan to coat the bottom, add onions and carrots and saute on medium-high stirring often, until onions are soft and golden. Add to soup. Remove soup from heat.
6. Mix together 1 can of tomato paste, 1 tbsp vinegar (if using), and the reserved 1 cup of broth. Add back to the soup. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of salt (or to taste).
7. After the soup has cooled down, add crushed garlic. Borscht always tastes better the next day after the flavors are mellowed and developed. Borscht will keep up to a week in the fridge.