After another car accident, my neck is once again constrained by a collar and I only have the energy to make really easy dishes that require almost no labor. Boiling is usually good for that. This borscht requires chopping, which I did by indiscriminately hacking away at the items on the cutting board, or you can shred the stuff (except the potato) in a food processor. I didn't peel any of the vegetables (too time-consuming and vitamin-defeating).
I also didn't have my purse, as it was left in the car following the accident, so I had no money or access to it, as banks were closed for the holiday weekend. I made this entirely out of things I already had, which wasn't much since I wasn't around last week and missed my CSA pickup.
Tip: The longer you saute the onions and tomato paste together, the deeper the flavor of the soup. Thanks to the beets, this soup tastes garden fresh despite its dependence on pantry and staple items that have probably been lying around the kitchen for several weeks.
1 tbsp cooking oil 1 onion 1 can tomato paste 1 can diced tomatoes 10 baby carrots, greens removed, chopped (I had these left over from the previous week's CSA) 3 potatoes, cubed 2 medium red beets and 3 small golden beets, cubed (also CSA) 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 4 cans water 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped (CSA again) salt and pepper to taste optional: 2 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt per serving fresh dill for garnish
Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add tomato paste and saute about 10 minutes (chop the rest of the vegetables while this happens). Add tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, beets, and garlic and cook 5-10 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add cabbage, salt, and pepper. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. To serve, ladle into bowls and top each with sour cream and dill.
This recipe makes about 8 servings, so you won't have to cook again in the near future.