Mmmmm, Borscht. My "go to" recipe on a cold, wet day. There is nothing better than the smell of fresh, simmering borscht on the stove and homemade bread in the oven. Seriously. Good. Borscht is relatively easy, delicious and very healthy as well.
This recipe is straight from motherland Russia. My husband lived in Russia for 2 years serving a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and fell in love with Borscht. He brought this recipe home and converted me to it's deliciousness. :)
1/2 lb. steak
3 large potatoes
3 large carrots
1 head of cabbage
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
Sour cream for serving
Cut steak into 1/2 in. strips and set aside. Fill a large stew pot half full with water (about 3 quarts of water). Add a few tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper to the water. Once water boils add meat. Turn heat down but keep water boiling for 30-40 minutes.
In the meantime chop beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onion into uniform pieces (I usually cut them all into small strips. See picture below). After the meat has cooked in water for 40 minutes add the beets to the pot. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Then add potatoes and beef bouillon.
In frying pan sauté the onion, carrots and garlic in a small amount of oil and ketchup. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the pot along with the bay leaves and more salt and pepper. Combine well and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add cabbage. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until ready to eat. Sometimes I let the soup simmer for a few hours to get the meat really tender.
Scoop a dollop of sour cream into each bowl of soup and serve with delicious hard bread (like rye or sourdough). And, if you want to have a really authentic Russian meal then make the soup a day ahead and re-heat it the day you are ready to eat. It always tastes better leftover because all the flavors blend well over time.