Real Russian borscht from an author who lived in Russia to study Russian culture and language! Easy to follow instructions and simple ingredients.
Put the grated beets in a pot with enough water to barely cover, and add the thick lemon slices. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beet is soft, about 20 minutes.
Put the potatoes and cabbage together in a large stockpot with water. Boil until nearly tender, about 30 minutes.
In a frying pan with olive oil (or butter), fry the onions, garlic, and carrots until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, mix all together and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes with bay leaves, salt and pepper.
When the potatoes and cabbage are nearly done, add the mix in the frying pan to the water. Remove the lemon from the beet mixture and bring all to a boil. Let it simmer at least 30-45 mins, and then once it comes off the heat, it's better if it sits half an hour or so.
Check the flavors. Add more salt or pepper to taste. If too sweet, add in a dash of vinegar. Remove the bay leaves and serve. Top with sour cream and chopped fresh dill if desired.