Like many thick soups, borscht is better the day after it's made. This beet and mixed vegetable version is adapted from Savella Stechishin's Traditional Ukrainian Cookery (Trident Press Ltd.) and is a classic soup on the Prairies. Borscht has other versions, some of which use fresh or smoked pork as a base; there are also meatless borschts and even some made without beets.
- Portion size 10 servings
Rinse bones and meat and add water, salt and peppercorns to large stockpot. Bring to boil, skimming frequently to remove foam. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Remove bones and meat from stock. Discard bones; chop meat and reserve.
Strain stock through dampened kitchen cloth into large saucepan. Add beets, potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Add cabbage, garlic and tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes longer, or until all vegetables are tender.
Add meat and lemon juice; taste and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if necessary. Heat through. By all means, serve the soup now with a sprinkle of dill and a dollop of sour cream in each bowl. Or, refrigerate soup overnight and reheat for a fuller flavor.