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    Larisa’s borscht

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    Larisa’s borscht

    By Diana Henry

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 60 minutes

    Serves: 6


    35g butter
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 stick celery, diced
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
    1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
    1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and diced
    ½ medium white cabbage, shredded
    1 large beetroot, peeled and grated
    3 new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
     1.8L vegetable stock (or water)
    4 tbsp tomato purée
    1 tsp sweet paprika
    Large pinch hot paprika or cayenne pepper
    1 bay leaf
    3 large cloves garlic, grated to a purée
    1 large lemon, juice
    3 tsp caster sugar
    Soured cream, to serve
    3 tbsp each finely chopped dill and parsley, to serve
    4 salad onions, trimmed and chopped, to serve


    1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 7 minutes, or until it begins to colour.

    2. Add the celery, apple, carrot, pepper and cabbage and sauté for 10-12 minutes, until they begin to soften. Don’t let the vegetables get too dark, just golden. Stir in the beetroot and potato and add the stock or water. Bring to just under the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

    3. Put the tomato purée into a bowl and dilute it with some of the broth from the soup. Stir this into the soup and add salt, pepper, the spices, bay leaf and garlic. Cook for another 7 minutes so the flavours can meld.

    4. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar to taste (use only what you need). The soup should be sweet-sour and a little hot. Adjust the seasoning if you need to. Ladle into bowls, add a generous spoonful of soured cream and sprinkle with the herbs and salad onions. Eat with the pirozhki. 

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