Latvian borscht(AKA Ukrainian Borshch)

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Total Time
28hrs 30mins
24 hrs
4 hrs 30 mins

This fabulous, many layered, complex borshch is compliments of Sandor Fenyvesi, an air traffic controller in Budapest, Hungary, who was educated at a special school for navigating officers and air traffic controllers in Riga, Latvia, when he was 18 years old and learned this soup while there. Serve this authentic Ukrainian soup hot to 6-8 people as a substantial first course or as a main course.

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  1. Heat the stock in a large soup pot, add cabbage and potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the beets, vinegar, bacon fat, sugar, and tomatoes in a saucepan and cook gently, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Then, in another small pan, heat the butter, mix in the onion, carrot, and parsley root (or parsnip), and braise.
  5. When the cabbage and potatoes are finished simmering, add the beet mixture, the onion mixture, the peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves--and cook another 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chopped garlic, the remaining bacon fat, and the chopped parsley.
  7. Then turn the heat down to a very low simmer, lightly cover the pot, and simmer very slowly for about 4½ hours.
  8. Turn off the heat, let cool, and allow to ripen for about 12-18 hours.
  9. When ready to serve, reheat gently then ladle into bowls.
  10. Top each with a teaspoonful of sour cream and serve with a slice of dark rye bread.