Borshch Gourmet (Russian Beetroot Soup)

READY IN: 5hrs 30mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • Put the oxtail pieces, hen, fat, half of the carrots, half of the celery, tomato puree, 2 garlic cloves and the halved onion (with peel) in a baking tray and roast in a hot oven until well browned, stirring occasionally (app. 45 min).
  • Put everything into a stockpot together with the green part of the leek and the stems of the parsley.
  • Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim. Add thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  • Let simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Pick up the oxtail. Remove the meat and set aside. Return the bones to the pot and let simmer for another 1 1/2 hours.
  • Strain the stock and remove some of the fat. Discard the hen (or use for something else).
  • Cut the rest of the vegetables, except one beetroot, into strips.
  • Heat the butter in the cleaned stockpot. Add the rest of the carrot, beetroot, celery, garlic, leek and flour and fry on medium heat for a few minutes.
  • Add potato, cabbage and the stock and bring to a boil.
  • Let simmer until the vegetables are done (approx. 15 min).
  • Add the meat.
  • Grate the remaining beetroot finely and mix with the vinegar.
  • Chop parsley and dill.
  • Add salt, black pepper and a little sugar to taste. If the soup tastes bland, enrich with bouillon cubes.
  • Add parsley to the soup and bring to a boil.
  • Finally, stir in the grated beetroot and vinegar. The soup will at once take on an intense purple red color. Do not boil the soup from now on.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with dill and a dollop of sour cream in the bowls. Dark sourdough bread and butter on the side.