Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is an excellent hearty vegetable soup. It is best when young beets are available.
- 1⁄2 cup margarine or 1⁄2 cup butter, divided
- 2 medium onions, chopped small
- 19 fluid ounces canned tomatoes, including liquid (crush tomatoes)
- 16 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped small
- 1 medium red beet, scrubbed and cut in half
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 4 cups chopped young beets, with tops
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/2 inch
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 1⁄2 cups diagonally cut green beans (about 1 inch long)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped small
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1⁄2 cup chopped green onion
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill weed or 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large frying pan, melt 1/4 cup of margarine or butter.
- Add chopped onions and saute' for 5 minutes but do not brown.
- Add mashed tomatoes including liquid and simmer until reduced to about half (about 20 minutes) then set aside.
- In a large cooking pot, add 16 cups of water and bring to boil.
- Add salt, potato quarters, chopped carrots and the beet and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
- When potatoes are tender, remove into a bowl and mash.
- Add the remainder 1/4 cup of margarine or butter, half and half cream to the mashed potatoes and mix well, then set aside.
- Trim tail ends of the young beets, and scrub only, then cut into small pieces and add to soup pot.
- Chop beet greens into medium size pieces and add to soup pot.
- Add cubed potatoes, spinach greens, green and red peppers, green beans, chopped celery, cauliflower florets and cook until vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add mashed potato mixture, tomato/onion mixture, green onions, fresh dill weed and bring to boil.
- Remove from heat.
- Add lemon juice and stir well.
- Adjust spices to taste.
- Cover and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate any unused portion of soup.
This soup tasted great. To make fewer servings I just put half of all the ingredients.
I'm sure this is delicious but WAY too much trouble. I lived in a Doukhobor settlement for several years and ate borscht daily. The procedure was long but not that long! I'm too lazy for either method: I just cook the vegetables (potatoes and carrots first, then cabbage, onion, dill, green pepper) in one big pot, then add the canned tomatoes. No beets because the ladies who made the best borsct either didn't use it or just a tiny piece for color. So I don't bother. Cook until the veggies are done, add salt and pepper, throw in as much butter (NEVER margarine) as you can stand to part with, some cream (I use coffee cream) and salt and pepper. Finish with a big spoonful of sour cream (in the pot) to add a delicous tang. The tang develops naturally, over days, if you make a big pot and eat it daily over a week's time. This is what the Doukhobors do and they are so healthy! Every pot of borscht is a bit different and every man says his wife's is the best in town. So make adjustments until you are perfectly satisfied. If you can't seem to get it just right, more butter and cream is probably the answer. What a beautiful way to eat your veggies. I have never made this for anyone who didn't love it.
Uncle Bill directed me to this recipe when I was in search of ways to use beet greens. I must admit that it took me a while to try it, the beets haven't been that great lately. I'm so glad that I did...twice. While it looks like a very involved recipe, in the grand scheme of things, it probably didn't take much longer than other soups that I've made. (It really does make quite a bit of soup, so have a hungry crew. We don't really like the change in texture when freezing potatoes, so we just ate it up and didn't even try to freeze it.) Using the mashed potatoes made for a thicker base than a standard vegetable soup, and the addition of all the different vegies was very nice. The second time, I cut the fresh dill to about 1/4 cup but only because my kids aren't partial to the flavor. Personally, I thought the recipe had the dill just right, but it wasn't bad with the reduced amount. Thank you for sharing, this recipe was not only a wonderful way to use beet greens, I really liked the mashed potato thickening method too.