The deep, earthy flavour of beetroot translates well to this warming soup. It’s sweet with a balancing touch of tang, and sometimes it’s slightly vinegary.
1.2kg beetroot, trimmed and scrubbed
2 tbsp olive oil
500g fillet steak, diced
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp allspice
4 cups chicken stock
400g can diced tomatoes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
500g potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper, to season
sour cream, to serve
¼ cup dill sprigs, finely chopped, to serve
pumpernickel bread, to serve
ice-cold vodka, to serve
Borscht – Beetroot Soup Recipe
1 Put beetroot in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, partially cover saucepan and simmer for 40 minutes or until beetroot is tender when pierced with a skewer. Cool in saucepan. Remove beetroot from liquid and rub off skin with your hands (wear gloves so your hands don’t turn bright pink). Grate beetroot. Reserve 3 cups beetroot liquid.
2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add a third of the steak and cook for 2–3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Cook remaining steak, adding more oil as required, and transfer to the plate.
3 Add leek to saucepan and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir through garlic, caraway seeds and allspice and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add reserved beetroot liquid, stock, tomato, vinegar and potato. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Return steak and beetroot to saucepan. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls topped with sour cream and dill, with bread and glasses of ice-cold vodka on the side.