1 lb  beef (bone-in or boneless)
3l water

3 large or 4 medium potatoes
2 large or 3 medium beets
1 big onion
2 medium carrots
300 gr – 1/2 head of small cabbage

3 tbsp tomato sauce, or paste
4 tbsp olive (or sunflower) oil
1 tbsp vinegar

2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish

Wash meat in cold water and place in a large soup pot with 3-liters cold water. Bring it to a boil and remove the foam as soon as it boils. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 45 minutes – 1 hr, periodically skimming off any foam that rises to the top.

Grate beets on the large grater holes. Place them in a large heavy-bottom skillet with 4 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp vinegar and saute for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to med/low and add 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and saute until starting to soften, stirring occasionally (about 10 min). Remove from pan and set aside.

In another skillet, saute onion in 1 tbsp butter for 2 min. Add grated carrot and saute another 5 min or until softened, adding more oil if it seems too dry.

Once the meat has been cooking at least 45 min, cut it into pieces and place it back into the broth. Also, add sliced potatoes into the soup pot and cook 10 min, then add cabbage, sauteed beets, onion & carrot. Cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.

Add 2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp pepper, and more salt to taste (I added another 1/2 tsp salt).

Chop parsley and pressed garlic then stir them into the soup pot, immediately cover and remove from heat. Let the pot rest covered for 60 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Garnish: Sour cream and fresh sprigs of parsley or dill.