1Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and slowly cook the beets, onion, carrot and garlic, turning regularly.
2Add the sugar and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3Use a blender to puree the soup until it is entirely smooth, then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a swirl of sour cream and a scattering of chopped chives.
Borscht is one of Russia’s better-known culinary exports, and is equally good served hot in the winter or chilled as a summer soup. This recipe combines fresh locally grown beets with a hearty beef stock, and the colours and intensity of flavours are sure to impress.