Beet Borscht

I made this the other day and it turned out really yummy. I highly recommend fresh herbs and sour cream for the delicious flavor. This is an adaptation of other recipes I've seen. I have a new mini-food processor that made shredding the beets much faster. I used to hand grate them. Chopping is also acceptable.


4 cups water and/or stock
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1-2 cloves garlic
1-2 potatoes, chopped or diced (may be boiled separately to retain whiteness)
1 cup combination of carrots, celery, parsnip, bell pepper, chopped or finely shredded 1-2 cups beets, shredded or diced (I recommend you wear an apron!)
1/2 to 3 cups combination of parsley, shredded red or green cabbage, chopped beet tops, chard, spinach or other greens
1 cup tomato sauce or tomato juice (or use a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and add more water, or use 1/4 cup lemon juice, a couple of tablespoons of sugar and add more water.) Last time I substituted pasta sauce, and it turned out great!
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed or 1 tsp. dill seed, or a little fresh dill
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (or one can) -- optional, I add this for protein as most borscht is made with beef, and this is a vegetarian recipe) 


Put 1/4 cup of stock or water into large stockpot or Dutch oven and add onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add potatoes (unless cooking separately), combined veggies, beets, cabbage or other greens (except parsley), tomato sauce or substitute, and dill. Bring to simmering. Add liquid as necessary. Cook until veggies are half done (about 20 minutes?) and add beans and parsley (optional) and remaining liquid. Simmer another 15 minutes or until veggies are done (depends on how finely you cut them). Add potatoes if cooked separately.

Top each serving with a dab of plain yogurt or sour cream and serve with rye bread. As beet juice is a colorful dye, you may want to provide bibs all around! Makes about six large servings.