Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: At least 1 hour
This is the vegetarian version prepared for the Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal. On other occasions you may choose to replace the water with meat stock and garnish the soup with sour cream.
This hearty soup traditionally prepared from beets and cabbage is popular at other times of the year as well. There are no less than 40 kinds of borsch, both hot and cold, varying according to the vegetables and or meat used; there are even some with no beets at all. All borsch recipes are slowly simmered for maximum flavor. Tiny garlic buns are often served with it.
- 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.
- Sauté the onion in the oil until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer.
- Add the beets, carrots, potato and water and cook until the vegetables are just tender.
- Add the shredded cabbage and cook until tender. Add the tomato juice or paste, dill, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add lemon juice or vinegar to taste to make the borshch slightly tart. Cook 5 minutes longer and serve very hot.
With thanks to Dr. Yaroslava Kojolianko of Musée Ukraina Museum in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for her kind assistance.
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