I love making a pot of soup that stays on the stove for a long time, throwing in some more veggies as I run through the kitchen, tasting a bit later and adding more something. Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce is a bit of soup magic. Or freshly ground pepper or a bay leaf. I love building the flavors of soup over a few hours. Throw in a loaf of fresh bread because I'm home all day out of the cold, and that is why I love winter suppers.
I had some radish tops, so I put them in the borsch too. And look at Phoebe, just totally happy with her new easel in the winter sun. Her big thing these days is dressing and undressing; it's rarely appropriate to the circumstances, which cracks us all up.
Russian Borsch - from the More With Less with tweaks by me, and please taste and tweak as you go along; I tried to accurately record what I did, but ultimately, soup-making is an art which varies with mood and pantry realities
If you have a beef bone, preferably a meaty, fatty bone, from roast beef, simmer it in 2 quarts water in a soup pot for at least 12 hours with 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar. I did mine 18 hours, starting the night before. (More With Less recommends a mutton neck or lamb bones - good for you if you can get those). And if your cupboard is bare and you have no bone, use whatever meat stock or broth you have.
Take out and discard the bone. Add to the stock:
1 large onion, chopped
2 big potatoes, diced
1 medium red beet, shredded
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 dried red pepper
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dill seed
Simmer covered for 1 hour or so. Taste, and if the broth seems thin, I like to add some powdered beef bouillon instead of just salt.
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dillweed
Simmer another 30 minutes or so. Taste and add more salt if needed (or a splash of Worcestershire!). Serve with dollops of plain yogurt or several tablespoons of heavy cream in each bowl. When you stir it in, the borsch will turn creamy red-purple, which is exactly what I remember from Russia.