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Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm always make borscht around the holidays. One year, they had roasted fennel left over after a day of food styling and decided to add it to the soup pot; they've been making borscht with fennel ever since. They like their soup really sweet and sour, but you can adjust the vinegar and honey to your taste. More Warming Soup Recipes

December 2006


Credit: © John Kernick

Recipe Summary

40 mins
6 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. In a shallow baking dish, cover the beets with foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut them into 1/2-inch dice.

  • Meanwhile, season the meat with salt and pepper and toss with flour just until lightly coated. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the meat and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over; transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining meat.

  • Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the casserole. Stir in the red cabbage, onions, fennel, garlic and paprika. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and honey and cook over moderately high heat until the vegetables start sticking to the casserole and browning lightly, about 3 minutes. Add the beets, browned meat, chicken broth and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the meat is very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream with the horseradish and chives and season with salt and pepper.

  • Discard the thyme sprigs and season the borscht to taste with salt, pepper, vinegar and honey. Serve in cups or bowls, passing the horseradish cream at the table.

Make Ahead

The borscht and horseradish cream can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring the horseradish cream to room temperature and reheat the borscht before serving.