From Please to the Table, The Russian Cookbook By Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman

6 Tb. sweet butter
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 Qts. Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into ¼” dice
3 ½ C shredded green cabbage
1 bay leaf & 8 peppercorns (in cheesecloth bag)
1 medium beet, peeled and grated
1 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
1 small rib celery cut into ¼” dice
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
½ tart apple, cored and cut in 1” dice
½ tsp sugar and 1 Tb. fresh lemon juice
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 ½” cubes
Soup Garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh dill and Sour Cream

– Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat
– Add onions, carrots, and bell pepper
– Sauté until slightly softened (about 5 minutes)
– Stir in cabbage, beet, and celery
– Sauté, stirring and tossing occasionally (10-15 minutes)
– Stir in apple, potatoes, tomato paste and garlic
– Add stock, bay leaf and peppercorns
– Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes
– Add the paprika, salt and pepper
– Add sugar and lemon juice (to taste)
– Let stand at least 2-3 hours or overnight (in the fridge) before serving (to develop and meld the flavors)
– Remove the cheesecloth bundle (bay leaf and peppercorns) before serving
– Serve with chopped dill, parsley and sour cream on each serving bowl