How To Make Helga’s Russian Borscht


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 1/2 quarts beef broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 pounds cabbage, cored and shredded
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
2 pounds beets, peeled and diced (tops reserved)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup chopped dill


Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot until very hot. Add the cubed lamb, and sear until well browned. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the beef broth, vinegar, and lemon juice; add the cabbage, tomatoes, diced beets, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lamb and beets are tender, about 2 hours.

Chop the beet tops, stir into the borscht, and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish the soup bowls with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of dill after ladling in the soup.