Winter Wonderland

Hearty Winter Borscht

OK, this picture makes this soup (which is a meal in itself) look scary - it's really not a hot orange color, more of a deep red. I think it was the flash. In any case, I had a lot of winter root vegetables (especially beets and cabbage), and it was freezing out and I decided to attempt a Russian borscht. The recipe is from Joy of Cooking. It's not difficult, but it does call for a lot of chopping and takes a lot oftime. My daughter and I liked this more than the Weatherman, but he had his share. We girls liked it with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub 3 to 4 medium beets (12 ounces). Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast on baking sheet until they are tender, about 1 hour. While the beets are roasting, lightly dredge:

1 pound boneless beef chuck cubed in all-purpose flour.
Heat in a soup pot over medium-high heat:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add the meat, and brown on all sides. Add:
4 1/2 cups beef stock
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
, drained and chopped

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is almost tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in:
2 cups shredded green or red cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste

Simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables and meat are tender, about 30 minutes. Peel the beets, then slice and cut into thin strips. Stir the beets into the soup, along with:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves minced
salt and black pepper
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Thin the soup with water if necessary. Garnish with:
sour cream


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