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A hot or cold soup, traditional in Eastern Europe and Western Russia, made with beetroot and sour cream.
It style varies from region to the in Poland the soup tends to be clear, and is known as Barszcz; while in the Ukraine it contains vegetables.
To serve eight using a typical Ukrainian recipe -
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 big onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 big carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 leek (the very dark-green top discarded), carefully washed – then thinly sliced
1 lb/450g beetroot (uncooked if possible), peeled and diced
1lb/450g fresh tomatoes or the equivalent tinned, roughly chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 level teaspoon of dill seeds or dried dill weed
3½ pints/2 litres chicken/pork or good vegetable stock
- Gently heat the oil in a big saucepan and stir in the onion, carrot, celery and leek.
- Turn the heat to medium and lightly brown.
- Add the beetroot, tomatoes, crushed garlic and dill.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil.
- Simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
The soup can be served hot or cold as it is, or sieved. The last minute addition of sour cream or smatana is traditional.