Classic Russian Borscht
3 quarts low-sodium beef broth
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 beets, trimmed, scrubbed, and grated
2 medium carrots, trimmed, scrubbed, and grated
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, grated into purée, skin discarded
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup sour cream
8 sprigs dill, chopped
black pepper, to taste
Step 1. In a 7.25-qt Dutch oven or a soup pot, combine the low-sodium beef broth, russet potatoes, and bay leaf. Bring the Dutch oven to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage. Allow it to simmer for 8 minutes.
Step 2. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, heat up the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the sauté pan; cook for 8 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the beets, carrots, apple cider vinegar, and garlic; cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until no liquid can be seen in the pan. Add the plum tomatoes and tomato paste; cook for 3 minutes or again until no liquid can be seen in the pan.
Step 3. Step 1 and 2 should finish around the same time. Add the beets mixture to the Dutch oven; allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 4. Fish out the bay leaf. To serve, top with the sour cream and sprinkle with dill and freshly ground pepper.
Alex is from Russia (this may explain the frequent use of beets in our recipes). The credit of this recipe goes to my mother-in-law “mamushka” Olga. Whenever she visits us, this dish graces our table – and so are the crêpes, jams, kharcho, and pelmeni. She is a brilliant cook and this is the best borscht recipe.