Borscht with Pot Roast and Cabbage


1 lb leftover pot roast, chopped (or other cooked stew/roasted beef)
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cups (loosely) coarsely chopped cabbage
2-3 cups cut up roasted beets
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon black caraway (aka nigella, charnushka, kalonji) or try caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
8-9 cups beef stock*

sour cream to serve


Heat a small amount of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Saute the celery, carrot, onion, and cabbage until the onion is translucent and the cabbage starts to wilt. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Divide into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.

*I used a mix of the juices/leftover broth from making pot roast and water because I don’t have more beef stock and we are here under quarantine.

My thoughts:
It’s getting a little late in the year for hot, meaty soup but it’s actually quite chilly and damp out and self-quarantine lends itself perfectly for soup. 
Sunday I made pot roast and rather than add flour to thicken the gravy, I sliced up half the meat and served with a drizzle of juices and all of the solid vegetables. Then I saved the rest of the meat in the broth/juices that were left and used them as the base of this soup. No better time than a pandemic than to make the most of what you have! 
There are a ton of borscht recipes out there from all over Eastern Europe and they vary quite a bit. Years ago I made summer chilled borscht that was very good but I realized when looking in my fridge trying to make a bunch of disparate ingredients come together into something, and noting that i had a ton of beets and cabbage that I had never made a meaty borscht. If not now, then when? The seasonings in borscht seem to vary a bit so I used what I had on hand. Feel free to use whatever herbs you have on hand. I think it was delicious as-is. It was very filling but not heavy feeling thanks to all of the vegetables. I had flavored the pot roast very simply so it added a deep beefy flavor but no jarring spices.

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