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Cooking For Fun

Russian Soups

Serves 4 for a couple of days.

1 Soup bone
1/2 kilo (about 1.1 lb) lean beef
About 4 liters (3.5 qt.) water.
4 medium potatoes (peeled & coarsely diced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 large carrots (coarsely grated)
1-2 beets (peeled & coarsely grated) -see prep. below
1/4 large cabbage (coarsely shredded)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
Salt & pepper
2 Bay leaves
3 tbsp. fresh parsley (coarsely chopped)
1 tsp. fresh dill weed, finely chopped 1/4 cup vegetable oil (usually sunflower)
Sour Cream (optional)

1. Prepare beef broth: In large stock pot place 4 liters cold water, the bone, beef, and about 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to rapid boil, skimming the foam that collects on top. Reduce
heat and cook for about 30 min. Remove bone &; discard. Remove beef, set aside to

2. Prepare vegetables: With coarse grater (food processor is really nice!) grate the beets and carrots. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chopped onion and fry until just starting to
brown. Add grated carrots & beets. Start heating the beef broth. Sauté veggies for 5
minutes, add sugar & vinegar. Sauté 5 min. more and add to broth.

3. Add other stuff: Cut beef into small cubes, add to broth. Add potatoes, cabbage, tomato sauce, bay leaves, parsley, dill weed, a bit of ground black pepper. Stir well,
taste soup for salt. Add more if you think it needs it.

Cook for at least 20 min. until potatoes are tender. Serve with sour cream on the side. Diners can optionally add a dollop to individual portions. Note: Like most home-made soups, it's always better the second day.

Low(er) Fat Variation:
Prep the beef broth a day ahead, place in refrigerator overnight and skim off as much of the hardened fat on top as you want (leave a little for flavor). Happy borshching!


No two recipes are the same for borsht, but the main ingredient is sour cream. This soup is particularly good when served hot on a cold winter's day with crusty bread.

1 pound raw beet root
1 small white cabbage
4 cups beef, veal or chicken stock
2 potatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper

Cut the white cabbage into four. Blanch it by pouring boiling water over it. Let it stand for a few minutes with the lid on. Lift out, shred finely and pour the stock over it. Simmer. Peel the raw beet root and cut it into matchstick-size strips, or grate coarsely. Cook this in a separate saucepan in water and a tablespoon of vinegar for 1 hour. Add it with its cooking water to the cabbage soup. Add the diced potatoes, season with salt and pepper, add sugar and lemon juice to taste (or more vinegar). Simmer for 25 minutes or until beet root is cooked. The soup should have a sharp taste. If there is too much beet root, remove a little. It can be used as a salad. Sour cream served in a separate bowl is an essential accompaniment.



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