Optional: Well-cooked beef pieces or sausage
Cut the beets into julienne strips and set aside. Use the reserved beet juice to help make the 2-1/2 quarts of water. Put the water into your soup pot and boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes.
Use the vegetable oil in a skillet and sauté the carrots, onion and ketchup.
Back to the soup pot, you’ll need to add the sliced beets and the shredded cabbage. Then add the chicken broth, lemon juice, bay leaves and the can of kidney beans.
Next, stir the sautéed carrots, onion and ketchup into the soup pot. Bring the pot to a simmer and keep it simmering until the cabbage is good and soft.
If you are going to add cooked beef pieces or sausage, this is the time to do it and heat them through. I personally don’t see anything wrong with adding pieces of pork or chicken; you are free to make choices. Your result will be a nice soup with red broth.
Many in the “old country” serve this as a cold soup. Since we live in the “new country,” I think most of us will want to serve and enjoy this as a good warm soup.
Another tip: Fancy servings of borscht are sometimes topped with sour cream and some minced green onions.
Readers with questions or comments for Dave Kessler may write to him in care of this publication.