Judy Kaplan’s borscht

Judy Kaplan in her kitchen. Courtesy of Judy Kaplan

“The story goes that borscht actually means beet soup, and some people make it hot or cold, some add cabbage and others add meat. You can buy the cold variety in any grocery store — it’s made by Manischewitz and is a good hot-summer-day dish served with a dollop of sour cream. My recipe is the hot variety and is from my Russian-born grandmother and includes beets, cabbage and meat. I've updated the recipe substituting one can of frozen lemonade for the more traditional sugar and sour salt. As far as good soup cookers in Asheville, mine are the best!” — Judy Kaplan

2 pounds chuck roast, cut in 1 1/2 – 2 inch cubes
2 large onions, chopped
2 cans of beets (or 6-8 fresh beets), sliced or shredded
1 small head of cabbage, sliced thinly
1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade 
2 large cans of diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

To make: Put meat in large soup pot with water to cover and bring to a rolling boil. Skim fat off the top. Add onions, beets, tomatoes with liquid and frozen lemonade. Add enough water to fill pot almost full and bring back to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Add cabbage and continue cooking for another hour. Add salt and pepper or hot sauce to taste. It’s always better the second day and freezes well.


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