There is always a lot of contention among borsch-makers about what is the correct method. Most would agree that it involves, beets, cabbage, onions and garlic. There are about 1000 different ways to make it! The first borscht makers used pickled common hogweed to make this and was called the "poor-mans soup". You can make it with meat, without meat, white borscht, cabbage borscht, sorrel borscht. The vegetarian version can be served cold in the summer months. All versions have their own charms, but I like the hot vegetarian version best.
This is a recipe that I learned from a genuine 100% Ukrainian person. Making borsch is imprinted in her DNA....that means it cannot be wrong, right? This soup is best prepared the day before, but it's very good on the first day as well.
4-5 medium beets, washed thoroughly and trimmed
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups cabbage, shredded
4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced
6-7 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
6-8 cups vegetable stock
5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Freshed minced dill and sour cream (optional) to serve
Scrub and trim beets and place in in a medium pot, cover with water and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Boil until tender. Remove beets from the pot to cool Reserve the beet water!
While the beets are boiling, saute the onions and peppers with olive oil in a large stock pot until the onions are translucent.
Add the cabbage, carrots, & garlic. Saute for 7-9 minutes or until the cabbage is beginning to soften.
Strain the beet water into the sauteed vegetables.
Shred the beets and add to the soup.
Add in the vegetable stock and splash of vinegar and salt to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes, simmer until potatoes are tender.
Serve with minced dill and/or sour cream.