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Hearty Russian Beet Soup

No recipe image available.This hearty Russian beet soup, or borscht, is a complete meal in itself, all that's needed is an accompaniment of dark rye bread and a beverage.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup dry navy beans
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces bacon
10 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 carrot, peeled chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
10 beets, peeled and sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 leek ribs, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter

Cooking Directions:

  1. Cover dry navy beans with water and allow to soak overnight; drain and rinse. Cover with fresh water in a saucepan; simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender. Drain.
  2. In a kettle, combine ground beef, bacon, and cold water; bring to a boil. Skim the surface. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic cloves, dried parsley, chopped carrot, chopped celery rib, chopped red onion, and salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Scrub beets and cook in boiling water until tender, about 45 minutes; drain, and cool.
  4. Peel and cut 8 of the beets into wedges and purée the remaining 2 in a food processor or blender with 2 cups of the broth.
  5. Add the sliced beets and purée to the kettle with shredded cabbage, sliced leek ribs, diced potatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Add the navy beans to the soup. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Mix flour and melted butter together and add to the soup, stirring until thickened slightly.

Makes 6 servings.