Russian Beet Soup (Borscht)



  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans
  • 1 pound beef boneless chuck, tip or round, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 smoked pork hock
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed beef broth
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium beets, cooked
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 teaspoons dill seed or 1 sprig dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream


  1. Heat water and beans to boiling in Dutch oven; boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Add beef, pork, beef broth, salt and pepper to beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beef is tender 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Shred beets or cut into 1/4 inch strips.
  5. Remove pork from Dutch oven; cool slightly.
  6. Remove pork from bone and trim fat; cut into bite-size pieces.
  7. Add pork, beets, onions, garlic, potatoes and cabbage to beef mixture.
  8. Tie dill seed and pickling spice in cheesecloth bag or place in tea ball; add to beef mixture.
  9. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  10. Stir in vinegar; simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove spice bag.
  12. Serve with sour cream; sprinkle with minced dill weed, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

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