READY IN: 4hrs 20mins
SERVES: 12-14




  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • 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.
  • Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, at least 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash and dry the beets and wrap each one separately in aluminum foil. Bake the beets until tender, 1 ¼ hours.
  • Allow the beets to cool until manageable, then stem and peel them and cut into julienne strips or fine dice.
  • When the stock is ready, remove the beef, ham bone, and marrow bones, and set all but the marrow bones aside. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pot and discard all the solids.
  • Bring the stock to a boil, add the potatoes and tomatoes, and season with salt. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  • While the vegetables 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, 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.
  • Sprinkle the beets with ¼ cup lemon juice and add them to the soup. Stir the soup and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and prunes. Season to taste with sugar, pepper, and additional lemon juice and salt, if desired. Simmer for another 7 minutes.
  • Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces and scrape all the meat off the ham bone. Add both meats to the soup.
  • Remove the borscht from the heat and sprinkle with the minced garlic, bacon (if desired), and 3 tablespoons each of parsley and dill. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with additional chopped fresh herbs and pass the sour cream.