Russian Beet Soup with Smoked Meat – Moscow Borscht

Moscow borscht needs smoked ham, more precisely, rich stock from ham with the bone and some vegetables (carrot, onion and parsley root). This stock can be cooked day before – cool it and remove all fat from the surface. Also good franks or hot-dog sausages needed.

Russian Beet Soup with Smoked Meat – Moscow Borscht

Yield: 4 serving

1/2 lb. ham with bone for stock (also carrot, half onion and small parsley root)

2 medium beetroots (about 1 cup), peeled and shredded
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1 tbsp. tomato paste
pinch of sugar
1 tsp. red vinegar
2 beef or mixed meat franks (I used smoked turkey white meat franks)
Salt and pepper
bay leaf

Sour cream (optional)
Parsley, chopped (optional)

Pour cold water (8-10 cups) into saucepan, add ham with bone and vegetables. Some beef meat can be added too. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook about 2-2 1/2 hours until done. Strain through a sieve, discard all vegetables, set aside cooked ham and beef. Cool broth and remove all fat from the surface, leave 1 tsp. fat for cooking.

Pour the stock (6 cups) in a saucepan, add potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Sauté beets with remaining fat, tomato paste and pinch of sugar over medium heat in a medium pan about 8-10 minutes, add vinegar. Meanwhile, sauté onions and carrots about 5 minutes.

Add the shredded cabbage into broth, bring to boil, add sautéed vegetables, bay leaf and simmer 5 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender. Separately cook franks about 1 minutes in boiled water.

Season borscht to taste with salt and pepper, add sliced franks and ham, cover and let stay 5-10 minutes, for intensive color and taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley, if desired.

1 serving is about 225 calories

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