For years I have been making the "New York Deli Borscht" recipe from the "Joy of Cooking" which is simple and exceptional. Basically, it is just beets, carrots, garlic and lemon juice. This fall I found a new recipe and a few extra ingredients make it a bit heartier. Here's how I make it:
In a large pot, saute one sliced leek and half a celeriac (in little cubes) in a bit of olive oil.
Peel and chop a couple beets into cubes and add to the pot, then add a liter or so of vegetable broth.
Now add a few peeled potatoes chopped into small pieces and a can of chopped tomatoes. Then let it cook for 20 - 30 minutes until everything is soft.
I like to make it a day in advance or in the morning so the flavors can develop. When it's time to serve, puree the soup (I use an electric blender stick), heat it up and add salt, pepper and - this is the most important part - a dash of balsamic vinegar. The vinegar adds a tartness and pulls all the other flavors together. You can sprinkle parsley on top or even add a dollop of cream or creme fraiche, but it is really delicious however you do it!