Borsht lovers can be a contentious bunch, but we think this recipe will please even the most resolute connoisseur.
- 2 pounds red beets, peeled
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 1 bunch fresh dill, stems removed and tied in a bundle
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered, optional
- 1 firm medium cucumber or half an English cucumber, peeled if necessary and diced, optional
- 4 medium red or white new potatoes, boiled until tender and kept hot, optional
- Sour cream.
1. Grate beets and onion together on a box grater or food processor outfitted with basic blade (pulse carefully) or grating disk. Place mixture in large saucepan with dill-stem bundle and 6 cups of water to cover.
2. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so liquid simmers steadily but not violently, until beets are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, remove dill stems, and chill.
3. When soup is cold, taste and add lemon juice, salt and pepper as necessary. Chop as much of the dill fronds as you would like for garnishing. Serve borscht in bowls, with garnishes of your choice and the dill. Pass sour cream at table.