I like my soup to have a more rustic, earthy feel to it, so I leave all of the peels on all of my vegetables, which also offers more nutrients and fiber to the mix, but if you prefer a more refined finished product, feel free to peel everything before you begin.
1 medium onion, diced small
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
6 cups of water or vegetable stock
6 medium-sized beets, trimmed
1 can diced tomatoes with the juice they’re packed in
3 cups diced red or green cabbage
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried dill
4 medium potatoes, quartered lengthwise and then sliced horizontally
Salt and pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
Optional garnishes: sour cream and/or fresh dill
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery and carrot, sauté for a couple more minutes, and then add the water or stock.
Bring to a boil and add the beets, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, bay leaves, dill and a pinch of salt. Allow the soup to return to a boil and then reduce the heat to a medium simmer. After the first 15 minutes, add the potatoes. Let the soup cook until the veggies are tender, about 40 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream and or some dill, if you like. Borscht is also nice served cold.