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For the Friendship Dinner we make about 48 quarts of this meaty borsch. This recipe makes about 12 – 2 cup portions or 6 quarts.  Borsch is an eastern European favorite and many people at the Friendship Dinner want to take some home. Our borsch is adapted from Please to the Table: the Russian Cookbook” by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman. ENJOYPatty Levenberg

Ingredients for the stock

(can be made a day or two before and refrigerated):

  • 1 ½ pounds beef chuck, shank, or flank
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2 beef marrow bones (about 1 pound)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 medium size parsnips, peeled
  • 1 stalk celery
  • Bouquet garni (3 dill sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs, 4 bay leaves, and 10 black peppercorns tied in a cheesecloth bag)
  • Salt, to taste

Stock Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot bring the meat bones and water to a boil over high heat, periodically skimming off the foam as it rises to the top.
  2. Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered until the meat is tender, at least 45 minutes.
  3. When the stock is ready remove the beef and the ham bone and reserve it for the soup. Strain the rest through a fine sieve into a clean pot and discard all the solids.
  4. Refrigerate the stock at this point or proceed with the soup.

Ingredients for the soup

  • 2 large beets (about 1 ¼ pound)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 can (16 ounces) plum tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup oil (sunflower oil preferably)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into Julienne
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 pitted prunes, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus additional for garnish
  • Sour cream

Soup Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375o.
  2. Wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, about 1 ¼ hours.
  3. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the potatoes and tomatoes, and season with salt.
  4. While the potatoes and tomatoes are cooking heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and green pepper, and sauté over medium heat until the onion and green pepper are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and continue to sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is softened, 10 minutes more. Add the vegetables to the soup.
  5. Peel the beets and cut into julienne or fine dice. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add them to the soup. Stir the soup and simmer, uncovered for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste and prunes. Season with pepper and salt to taste.
  7. Cut the beef into bitesize pieces and scrape all the meat off the ham bone. Add both meats to the soup.
  8. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic and 3 tablespoons each parsley and dill. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve garnished with additional chopped fresh herbs and sour cream.