Russian borscht is a beetroot soup that is a staple dish in all of Russia and Eastern Europe. It is no surprise that this hearty soup is beloved especially in the cool climate. It is heartwarming, delicious and nutritious too. There are numerous recipes for Russian borscht, It is one of those recipes where each household has its secret ingredients to make it unique. The beetroot makes it a luscious color which makes for a lovely presented dish.
This is definitely a recipe you can adjust to your pleasure. If you want a more healthful version, you can eliminate the potatoes which would also make it Plant Paradox compliant if using grass fed beef and stock. You could also substitute turnip, rutabaga or Daikon radish for the potato as well. Russian Borscht would also traditionally be served with Russian black bread and sour cream.
I highly recommend you make your own beef broth as it is far superior to anything you could buy. It is what makes it have that delicious homemade flavor. Please note that the cooking time does not include making the broth, so plan accordingly.
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For the Beef Stock:
- 2 lbs. beef bones use grass-fed if making this recipe plant paradox Compliant
- 2 celery stalks with leaves
- 2 carrots
- 1 large onion cut in half
- 8-10 peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
For the Borscht:
- 16 cups beef stock see recipe included
- 3 medium beets peeled and grated
- 1/2 small cabbage shredded
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 medium potatoes cubed
- 2 carrots. grated
- 1 bay leaf
- shredded beef from soup bones
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds optional
- 1 teaspoon coriander ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill saving some for garnish
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the topping
- 1 cup sour cream divided 1/8 cup per serving
For the Beef Stock
- Place beef bones, celery stalks, carrots, onion, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves into a very large stock pot, fill with about 18 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Allow to simmer on low with a semi-covered lid for at least 4 hours.
- During the cooking process, occasionally skim off any foam off the top while simmering.
- Strain the soup broth into a colander over a large bowl to remove the big bones and vegetables.
- Pick the meat off the bones and set aside for the soup.
- Using a cheesecloth, strain the soup again to remove the small impurities to make a clear broth.
For the Borscht
- Fry onions until they are golden brown, set aside.
- Fry beets and carrots until they are caramelized, and set aside.
- Place 16 cups prepared beef broth in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat to a simmer.
- Add a bay leaf and the cubed potatoes, allowing to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the shredded cabbage and fried onions to the soup.
- Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the fried beets, fried carrots and shredded beef to the soup, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the red wine vinegar, nigella seeds, ground coriander, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add more vinegar and seasoning if necessary.
- Add dill and save some for garnish when serving.
- Serve with sour cream and Russian black bread.