This recipe is the ultimate cheap and easy comfort food of many Russian and Ukrainian people. I enjoyed this many times with Russian and Ukrainian immigrants I had the pleasure to get to know years ago.
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp oil or butter
3-4 potatoes, cubed
3-4 carrots, sliced
4 cups beef or vegetable broth
4 large beets grated (may use the tops, cleaned & chopped) or 1 1/2- 2 cups cooked
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, more or less (I prefer Adobo seasoned salt)
dash of pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2-1 pound beef, cubed or ground beef
chopped greens- spinach, escarole, mustard or turnip greens, swiss chard fresh or frozen if not using beet greens
plain yogurt or sour cream
Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in oil in a large soup pot until onions are soft. Add potatoes, seasonings and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until vegetable are soft, about 15 minutes. Add beets; cook 15 minutes (or about 3 minutes if beets are already cooked). Add vinegar. Cook 1 minute. Garnish with yogurt and/or cottage cheese for more flavor and nutrition. Makes about 6 cups.
If using beef, you would dredge the beef cubes in about 1-2 Tbsp flour mixed with couple dashes of salt and pepper. Saute with oil and onions/garlic as above. If using ground beef, saute in pan with onions and garlic, drain off fat and then continue sauteing with vegetables. Follow remainder of recipe as above.
Serve with hunks of bread- wholegrain, rustic, pumpernickel, vienna etc.
*Recipe adapted from Marie Tobaben- originally in Whole Foods For The Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook 1981.