I made this for the first time in my life on Saturday. Unlike the other recipes on this blog, this is NOT a recipe I have perfected, but a friend asked me to post what I did so here's my best attempt:
1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped fairly thin
3-4 carrots, thinly sliced (I used a wide grater to slice them)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
8-16 oz tomatoes
3-4 whole sausages (I used Italian, but I think Kielbasa or another smoked sausage might be better)
salt and pepper
a shitload of dill (at least 2 teaspoons dried)
3-4 T red wine vinegar (I ran out of red wine vinegar and used balsamic)
Clean the beets and cover with water. Cook whole for about an hour; remove from liquid and cool. When cool, peel and chop into 1/2-inch cubes.
Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, onion, and carrots to the beet water as well as some chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and throw the whole sausages in. When the vegetables begin to wilt, add the chopped beets and dill. Simmer until vegetables are soft; 15-30 minutes or so.
Serve with sour cream or yogurt.
The next day, I added a couple cloves of minced garlic and more chicken broth when I heated the soup up.
Now, here's what I think I'll do differently next time:
-Use more beets. I love beets.
-Cook the beets in chicken stock made from scratch or, better yet, beef stock. Somehow I think a hearty, beefy borscht might be absolutely divine.
-Add a couple cloves of garlic.
-Either omit the sausage altogether or use kielbasa. I'm still a little unsure about the sausage, to be honest.
-Don't use as much dry dill and throw in fresh dill at the end instead