Ukranian Borscht

Borscht is a soup mostly made with beets and cabbage. It is a speacialty of Russian and Ukranian cuisine. It’s still a specialty in my family.There is lots of variations how to make borscht, but the base ingredients are cabbage and beets.Most of the time I can cook borscht without any meat or broth(believe me It’s still good) but sometime I would make it with homemade chicken or beef broth.
1 big or 2 small onions chopped
1 big or 2 small carrot shredded
½ green bell pepper chopped
½ red bell pepper chopped
1 small raw beet and 1 cooked beet for really red borscht shredded
4 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
8oz. Tomato sauce
3 bay leaves
8 medium russet potatoes peeled and cut into squares
½  of medim size cabbage thinly sliced
2/3 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped (optional)
2/3 baby dill finely chopped
3 quarts (12 cups) of water,chicken/beef broth with meat
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon oil
Heat oil in large heavy pot on medium-high heat.
Add garlic . When garlic starts to turn light brown add onions, carrots, and bell peppers.
Saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionaly.
Add beets.saute for another 4-5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce,bay leaves and black pepper. Stirring few times,let it cook for 5 minutes .
Throw in the potatoes and pour in water or broth.
Season with salt,stir,close lid and bring to boil.
When starts to boil reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are done.
Throw in cabbage,parsley and dill.(I like to add half of uncut bell pepper for more flavor.)
Bring to a light boil and remove from heat.Tear chicken/beef in to small parts and throw in to the pot.
It is best when served couple hours later.serve with dallop of sour cream , thinly sliced onions and bread.
Optional: to cook Beef or Chicken stock; Bring water to a boil in a big pot,add whole chicken or beef (your choice of meat,ribs ). 1 whole onion and 1 carrot peeled.2 bay leaves and season with salt.cook for an hour on low heat or until chicken is soft and tender.