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From: Lyuda Lavrentyeva, New Jersey, USA

Recipe from Uzhgorod-Eastern Ukraine. Dad's best Borstch recipe.

  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup mushrooms - optional (white or any firm mushroom without overpowering flavor will do)
  • 1 can of beans ( I like to use black or white beans for nice color but red, pink or any other beans are good too)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1/2 head of cabage
  • 2 medium beet roots
  • small bunch of fresh dill
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 - 6oz can of tomato paste, or half of a 12oz can disolved with water to thick juice-like condition
  • 2 glasses of tomato juice
  • little bit of vegetable oil for sauteing (canola oil is a good healthy option)

Peel and cut the vegetables.
Cut carrots in circles
Cut potatoes in chunks
Slice beets in long thin slices like wide matchsticks or you can grate them on a large hole grater
Slice the cabbage as thin as possible
Chop the dill and press out the garlic
Disolve the tomato paste with water until it's juice like

In a large 8qt pot half-ways filled with water cook the potatoes,
carrots, mushrooms (if using any), one of the chopped beets with the bay leafs.
Meanwhile saute the other beet with the dill untill the beet is tender.
Add 2 cloves of pressed garlic and salt to the mixture and sautee another minute or two. Put the mixture aside.

When the potatoes are almost cooked add the beans and the sliced
Simmer until the cabbage is a little bit tender and still firm.

Add the dissolved tomato paste, tomato juice, salt and pepper.
Bring it to boil and add the beet and dill mixture, remaining pressed clove of garlic and some ground black pepper to taste.
Simmer another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle some fresh dill into the plates when serving this soup.

Makes a whole 8qt pot of beautiful, tasty bright red soup. Might be served with some sour cream ( i prefer without it).
This soup is supposed to be thick and chunky and it could replace a meal if served with some good bread. Yumm!

You can always cook the beans from scratch if you prefer, this way they taste better.