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Borscht or borscht is a vegetable soup from Eastern Europe, which is traditionally cooked including beetroot as a main ingredient which gives it a strong red colour. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and the green (zelioni) borscht (sorrel soup).
- 500g beetroot, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, sliced (white part only)
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 parsnip, peeled, and cut into chunks
- ½ tsp allspice
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 250ml sour cream
- 1½ lt vegetable or beef stock
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- Baguette slices, to serve
- Place the beetroot, carrot, parsnip, leek, onion, lemon juice, spices and bay leaves in a large saucepan with the stock.
- Bring to the boil, then partially cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
- Cool slightly before blending in batches and season well with salt and pepper. (If you have a stick blender that can withstand hot liquids, use this, as beetroot stains easily and will stain a plastic blender, not to mention your hands.)
- Return to the heat and gently heat through.
- Serve in deep bowls with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped dill and bread of your choice.