Russian Cabbage Borscht

If you have never made borcht, or thought perhaps you wouldn't like it, this recipe is worth a try. This is the recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook and I have made it year after year and it never disappoints. It is rich, sweet, hearty, tangy, all at once. If you don't have the stock of celery, substitute some of your celeriac instead. Serves 4-5.

2 TB butter
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups thinly-sliced potato
1 cup thinly-sliced uncooked, peeled beets
1 large, sliced carrot
1 stalk chopped celery
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
1 scant tsp caraway seeds
4 cups stock or water
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp dill (or less if you aren't a big dill fan)
1 -2 TB. cider vinegar
1-2 TB tsp. honey
1 cup tomato puree

Place potatoes, beets and water (or stock) in a saucepan, and cook until everything is tender. Save the cooking broth.

Begin cooking the onions in butter in a large kettle. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onion is translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add the broth from the beets and potatoes and cook, covered until all the vegetables are just tender.

Add potatoes, beets and all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve topped with sour cream and extra dill weed, if desired.

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