My college roommate Jana served her mission in the Ukraine and loved to cook for us. This is one of the recipes I loved. Her hands always ended up purple from cutting the beets, but she didn't mind. I remember learning why Ukrainian food is so good...they love sour cream on everything! :D Following is Jana's recipe as shared with my by her sister.
Most on-line recipes call for dill and some meat, but this is what she learned in Ukraine from a lady named Vera. It turned out pretty well when I made it. I didn't have quite enough beets, but other than that it was really good.
Equal amounts of carrots and potatoes. Slightly more beets and cabbage.
• 12 cups beef broth
• 2 med onions, peeled, quartered
• 6 large beets, peeled, chopped
• 6 carrots, peeled, chopped
• 4 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
• 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 cup sour cream
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Bay leaf
• Dill opt
Big pot of water
Can sauté veggies first. It gets the process done faster. (Gets a bit of oil in it too-which is traditional). You can also brown and boil a hunk of meat for it like you would for beef vegetable soup (which also adds fat).
Start heating your water.
To save your cutting board from staining cut beets, first and set aside. Then do carrots, onion and end with potatoes to soak up color and onion flavor. Put carrots and onions into water. Once it’s hot add potatoes bay leaf, bouillon and garlic. Then add beets. After they’ve cooked a while if you’ve cut them similarly you should not be able to tell carrots from potatoes etc. Add cabbage toward end otherwise it will disintegrate, but make sure it is soft before serving. Add Tomato sauce. Salt and Pepper. White Vinegar. ½ --1 tbs—(will get stronger when leftover so err on the side of less)
I'd use a little 8 oz can of plain sauce (be careful they've starting adding all sorts of stuff to those little cans of tomato sauce and I always accidentally get one with basil or something). If you taste it and it seems to be lacking tomato then add some more. (I bet that's helpful--sorry I can't be more precise)
I's say 12 cups of liquid either water and beef boulioun or beef broth.
Consider this a rough draft of a recipe. I meant to update it after I made it but I didn't. Soup is forgiving though.
And of course the sour cream is put in each bowl when it's served not mixed into the pot.