Ukrainian Borscht

This robust national soup of Ukraine almost qualifies as a stew. It's a bit labor-intensive but well worth the time and effort. Serve it with lots of buttered dark Russian pumpernickel.

2 smoked ham hocks

1 pound boneless chuck, rump, or bottom round,

trimmed of fat

2 beef bouillon cubes

Bouquet garni (bay leaf, parsley sprigs, 8

peppercorns, crushed clove of garlic), tied in


1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped celery

4 large beets, peeled and diced

3 cups shredded red cabbage

2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, with juice

1 15-ounce can white kidney beans with liquid

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Sour cream

Fresh dill

Place ham hocks and beef, bouillon cubes, bouquet garni, and chopped onion in a very large pot. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, skim off any froth, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2-1/2 hours.

Add carrot and celery, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni; add beets, cabbage, and tomatoes; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in beans with liquid, vinegar, and sugar. Remove and slice beef; discard ham hocks. Heat, adding more water if soup appears too thick. Serve in large soup bowls with slices of meat. Top with a dollop of sour cream and snips of dill.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.