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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


2 carrots, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound beef short ribs
1 pound beets, diced
8 cups stock
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch dill
1 bunch parsley
7 ounces shredded cabbage
sour cream for serving

Wash the vegetables, and cut them into small pieces. Cut the beef into bite-size pieces.

Sauté the meat, carrots, turnip and onion, and braise for about 10 minutes. Add the beets, stock, vinegar, bay leaves and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, and cover. Simmer 45 minutes.

Tie the dill and parsley into a bouquet. Add the herbs and the cabbage to the pot, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and bay leaves, and serve with sour cream.

To make a vegetarian borscht, omit the beef short ribs, and use a vegetable stock. Without the beef, the soup loses a flavor factor known as umami. To replace that, add a cup or two of portobello mushroom slices in place of the beef.

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