If you want to roast the beets, you will need to do this the day before. Otherwise, they may be added to the soup raw.
This recipe uses a 6 quart crockpot. You may wish to adjust the amounts according to your crockpot.
3 cups beef broth
1 – 6 oz. (170 ml.) tomato paste
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 – 28 oz. (796 ml.) can diced tomatoes
1 – 14 oz. (398 ml.) can diced tomatoes
1 – 1 ½ lbs. beef stew meat, cut into ½ in slices
4 large beets – about 4 cups of diced beets – raw or roasted (see below)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 onion, diced – about 1 cup
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried dillweed
2 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Add at end of cooking:
3 cups shredded cabbage (from a coleslaw mix is fine)
fresh chopped dill
To roast the beets:
Place a large piece of foil in a baking pan and loosely wrap the beets. Bake for 60 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of the beets, until beets are almost tender when pierced with a paring knife. Unwrap and allow to cool enough to handle. Wearing rubber gloves try to slip the skins off by scraping with a paring knife but if this is difficult use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel. Cut the beets into about ¼ inch dice or cubes.
To prepare the borscht:
In the slow cooker, whisk together the beef broth, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar until blended. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix in the remaining ingredients to the black pepper. Cover and cook on low 8 – 10 hours. Set heat on slow cooker to High. Add the shredded cabbage and cook about 30 minutes more or until the cabbage is tender.
Serve with a dollop or swirl of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill.
To create the swirl: Put some sour cream in a plastic bag, snip a corner and swirl!!