Simply Borscht

Simply Borscht


  • 1/2 onion chopped into a small dice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 pounds of beets, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 - 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 6 ounces of smoked ham, cut into 1/8th inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup of finely minced parsley
  • 1/4 sour cream, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Place a large pot over medium head and add the onions, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and cook until the onions have turned soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.  

Add the beets, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 cup of the beef broth, the tomatoes and the juices from the can, a teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of pepper.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Once the simmer is completed, add the cabbage, ham, parsley, and the remaining beef broth.  Reserve some of the parsley for garnish.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot in bowls, garnish with sour cream and more finely chopped parsley.  Imagine yourself basking in the afternoon sun on a porch in Makhachkala as you eat your Borscht.  The gentle waves of the Caspian lapping at the shore beneath your feet...