Moscow Style Beet Soup
Attributed to Dr. Olena Veruskova, Moscow
Variations on this theme are available but what is presented here borrows heavily from a recipe by Dr. Olena
Veruskova. Her recipe was found on gather.com under Soups of the Rus collected by Donald H. It contains hot dogs and is very
One of the
questions with borshch is what to do about the broth. Dr. Veruskova is silent on this except to say “use 2 quarts Beef
stock”. I suspect the stock comes from the boiled ham and the boiled brisket and I have prepared her excellent borshch
in that way, borrowing from “Grand Version of Borshch” presented in this modest collection of “World’s
Best Borsch”. If there is no time to make stock a good grade of packaged beef stock would be a second choice. Use of
bouillon cubes would definitely be a third choice and to be avoided if possible.
am going to suggest a double broth! But please don’t worry, it’s not entirely necessary - but does kick this very fine borshch up a notch,
beef shank or short ribs or pork neck bones
1 pound marrow
3 quarts water
2 sprigs fresh parsley (well washed)
1 carrot, cut up
parsnip, cup up
1 stalk celery, cut up
1 tablespoon salt (Maybe two teaspoons?)
Combine beef, bones, and water in a 6 qt kettle. Bring to boiling. Boil 15 minutes, skimming
remaining ingredients. Simmer rapidly about 1&1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.
Strain off broth. Chill quickly.
Skim off fat.
meat from bones. Set meat aside for use in other dishes. Discard bones, vegetables and peppercorns.
The above broth recipe was taken from litech in
but it’s no longer available on the web. It can be skipped by going directly to the following preparation using water
only, as I did in my very first time making borsch.
Now to the borshch itself from Dr. Veruskova’s recipe!
The meat: ingredients as presented
by Dr. Veruskova
2 ea one pound smoked ham hocks
pound beef brisket, 2 or 3 large chunks
quarts beef broth from above, or water
bouquet fresh garni (preferred) tied together with string, including 3 marjoram sprigs if available:
fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 large
bunch of (well washed!) parsley
- 1 bay leaf
or for dried bouquet garni in a cheesecloth
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (never ground thyme)
- 1 bunch of (well washed!) parsley, including stems,
- 1 bay leaf,
Preparing the meats: (this is best done the day ahead) Preparation instructions are as I generally write them:
In an 8 quart pot and cover the ham hocks and beef brisket chunks by about two inches with the
beef broth, or water if you decide to not use the first broth.
Add the bouquet garni and put the pot over
As soon as it approaches a boil, turn down the heat and cover the pot. Keep at a slow simmer for 3
hours. Every 30 minutes or so skim off any froth or fat that floats to the surface.
Strain and reserve the broth.
meat off the ham hocks and discard any rind, gristle, or bone. Break the meat from the ham hocks into 1/4 inch chunks. Slice
the beef into 3/4 inch cubes. (Refrigerate the meat separately from the broth.) Refrigerate the broth and if the fat looks
excessive the next day just skim it off.
vegetables and remaining ingredients including 1/4 pound of 1/4 inch sliced hotdogs
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups beets cut into 1/2 inch strips, if necessary use canned beets
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes peeled, deseeded & coarsely chopped (to peel, dip the tomatoes in boiling water
for a few seconds until the skins split and then strip off skins) Canned tomatoes can be used!
2 teaspoons salt
2 quarts beef stock
1/2 pound white cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 pound good
beef hotdogs, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 parsley springs – well washed!
1/2 cup fresh chopped
dill for garnish
cup sour cream for garnish
Putting it together! Finally :)
In an 8 quart pot melt butter over medium heat. Add minced
onions, stir frequently and sautee for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are soft, but not brown.
in beets, (if fresh beets are used), add wine vinegar, sugar and chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black
Pour in 1/2 cup of stock, cover pan and simmer quietly for 50 minutes.
in about 7&1/2 cups of stock, add chopped cabbage, bay leaf and parsley sprigs and bring to a simmer until the cabbage
Add the chopped ham, the sliced hotdogs, and the beef brisket cut into 1/4
inch cubes and simmer until flavors are incorporated. Taste test for salt and pepper.
canned beets are used add them with the meat.
Veruskova likes to put the borshch into a large tureen and sprinkle with chopped fresh dill, chopped fresh parsley could
with a bowl of sour cream to be added to the borsch by each diner.
you to Dr. Olena Veruskova, for a most excellent borshch which I know you will enjoy, single or double broth, either way.