A Bubby-licious borscht. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / January 31, 2013)

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 small sweet onion, diced


1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced or grated using a rasp

6 cups beef broth

Sachet containing 1 bay leaf, 3 whole allspice berries, 1 clove, 1 teaspoon coriander seed and 1 teaspoon fennel or anise seed

12 small boiling potatoes, halved, or 1 large boiling potato, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 head savoy cabbage, julienned

2 raw red beets, peeled and shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup beet pickling liquid (from recipe above)

Pickled beets, for garnish (from recipe above)

Dill, for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish

1. In a 12-quart pot, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered out, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the bacon. Season lightly with one-fourth teaspoon salt, stir, and add the water to the pot and cover. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Stir the garlic into the vegetables and cook for a minute to marry the flavors, then add the beef broth and sachet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Remove the sachet from the broth and discard.

4. Add the potatoes to the soup along with the cabbage. Cook for 15 minutes to soften the potatoes and cabbage.