As the story goes---when my Ancestors came from the Ukraine to Canada (first settling in Saskatchewan)---they spent their first winter in a mud hut on their land and the neighbouring farmers brought Borscht to them. It’s a good hearty soup, simple yet so satisfying. For ‘winter’ borscht, add navy beans, ‘spring/summer’ borscht contains the leaf tops of the beets.
The Beets:Boil with the skins on until tender, drain and wait until they cool a bit---cut into julienne slices (not sure why but this is the way my Baba did it!)
The Other Stuff:Carrots, cabbage, beans (yellow/green), potato
Start with oil (of your choice) in a large pan. Add some butter and heat to medium/high. Sauteé carrots and cabbage (lots of cabbage as it will ‘disappear’ until they are tender but still firm. During this process, add fresh dill. If you don’t have fresh the dill you can get in a tube (produce section) works well and dried will be “OK” if you have nothing else. Season with pepper. .
You can add some green/yellow fresh beans and some potato. Potato doesn’t freeze well—so omit if you intend to freeze the soup and add potato as you serve. Add your cooked, sliced beets and cover the mix with chicken broth. Simmer. It will become ‘borsch-i-fied’ (everything will turn a nice beet red)! After you have simmered, add some tomato juice so it has a nice ‘zing’ to it.
Allow to sit for a while and adjust the seasoning (pepper, dill, salt if you wish).