40 g/ 1 1/2 oz butter
1 white onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500 g/1 lb 2 oz raw beetroot, diced 1 celery heart, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped pinch of sugar 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1.5 litres/2 1/2 pints Meat Stock
400 g/14 oz potatoes, cut into wedges 400 g/14 oz white cabbage, shredded
500 g/1 lb 2 oz boiled beef, diced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley salt
250 ml/8 fl oz soured cream, to serve


1.Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until soft. Add the beetroot, celery, half the tomatoes, the sugar, vinegar, a pinch of salt and 175 ml/ 6 fl oz of the stock and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, cook the potatoes and cabbage in the remaining stock in another saucepan for about 20 minutes, but do not let the potatoes overcook.
3.Add the remaining tomatoes, the beef and the beetroot mixture, stir and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
4.Season with salt if necessary, sprinkle with the parsley and remove from the heat. Pour the minestrone into a soup tureen and serve with sour cream.
5.This Russian version of minestrone is immediately recognizable owing to the red colour of the beetroot. There are other versions, but this is the most common.

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