Having an Ukranian mother, there is no surprise telling you that this is the soup we ate more than any other one as kids. My mom used to make this quite often, I remember having the same soup for 2-3 days with rye bread. That is what I also prepare here usually. Especially the days I have lots of work and no time to stay in the kitchen. Luckily the girls love it and don’t bother having the same soup for 2-3 days. I would not call it a’ recipe’ as I make it depending on the vegetables I have at home, but my mom would make it always with red beans and lots of cabbage. The essential ingredients to make it are, of course, the beets but also the fresh dille. You can make it with or without meat (chicken), when making it without meat you should add some more broth powder and some ghee to make the soup creamier. Here is the ingredients list for 3lt of soup. If using bio vegetables, no need to peel them, just wash them very well and cut them.
3 medium size beets, grated
6-7 potatoes (when using meat, you can use less potatoes), cut in 8
1 leek, sliced
1/4 cabbage, cored and sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 onion, sliced
the juice of 2 lemons/the juice from preserved cucumbers/Romanian ‘bors’
2-3 bay leaves
handfull of fresh dille, minced
handful of fresh green onions (optional), minced
some fresh persil (optional), minced
broth (powder or liquid form)
2-3 TbSp ghee
Sour cream to serve
In a big saucepan, add the ghee , the meat (if you are using it), the sliced onion, the grated carrots and put it on the high heat. Mix for several minutes until the onion turns translucid. Add 2-3L of water, the broth, the potatoes, the leek, the caggabe and the bay leaves and let it cook on a medium heat. It can take up to 30 -40 min. Once the potatoes are cooked (and the meat, if you are using it), add the grated beets, the salt, pepper and let it cook for another 10 min. The idea is not to have the beets overcooked. After this step, you can add the lemon juice(or the other liquids as mentioned above) and the other fresh minced greens. Taste the soup and add some more powdered broth/salt if needed. Serve the soup with the sour cream and enjoy a little bit of Ukrainian kitchen.