Borshch


For Stock:


4 lb beef pot roast, trimmed

4 qts water

2 onions, quartered

2 carrots, scrubbed and broken in half

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste


Place beef and water in a large stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Skim foam from surface and reduce heat to low.  Add the onions, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Simmer, partially covered for 2-3 hours, until meat is fork tender.


Remove the meat to a platter to cool.  Strain the stock into a clean container and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating overnight.  Discard the vegetables.  When beef is cool enough to handle, cut into 2" chunks, discarding any bones, gristle or fat.  Place into a container and refrigerate until making soup.


For Soup:


8 beets, well scrubbed and stemmed

3 large cloves of garlic

Large handful of parsley leaves

1/4 c. vinegar

1/3 c. sugar

3 oz. fresh mushrooms

2 large onions, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

6 slices bacon, diced

1 lg. green pepper, cored, seeded and diced

6 T. butter (plus more if needed)

1 head cabbage, cored and chopped

2 t. paprika

8 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" dice

2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 small tart apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 (16 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Sour cream for serving


Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast in a preheated 400* oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until easily pierced with the tip of a knife.  Unwrap the beets and immediately place them in an ice water bath.  The skins should slip right off.  Shred half of the beets using a box grater and set aside.  Cut the remaining beets into quarters and set aside.


While beets are roasting remove stock from refrigerator, skim off any congealed fat on the top of the stock and discard.  Allow stock to come to room temperature.


Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over med low heat until crispy, remove to a paper towel lined dish and reserve.  Add the mushrooms, onions, carrot, apple and green pepper to the bacon drippings Increase the heat to med high and cook until softened, approx. 10 minutes adding butter if the pot looks dry. Add the butter and cabbage to the pot and continue to cook, stirring for another 5 minutes or so.  Stir in the paprika.  Remove 2 cups of the stock and set aside.  Place the remaining stock, potatoes, tomatoes with their juices, apple and the reserved beef into the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.


While soup is simmering place the quartered beets, reserved stock, garlic, parsley, vinegar and sugar into a heavy duty blender or food processor and pulse several times.  Add this mixture to the soup pot along with the beans and reserved bacon.  Cook over med high heat for at least a half hour or longer, allowing the flavors to meld.  Stir in the grated beets, reserving some for garnish, if desired.  Ladle into soup bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with some grated beets.  Serve with extra sour cream on the side.