Prepare all the vegetables by peeling and grating the beets and carrots separately, chopping the onions, peeling and cutting the potatoes and slicing the cabbage. Have all vegetables ready before starting on the soup.
Add the stock to the large soup pot, then add shredded meat, grated beets, cut into medium chunks potatoes, tomato puree, a pinch of salt and one bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer.
Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan, then add the grated carrots and chopped onions and saute over low heat for 7-10 minutes until caramelised, then add minced garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds.
When the onions and carrots are done, add them to the soup pot together with sliced cabbage and cook for 15 minutes or until the cabbage leaves are tender but not mushy. Then add the juice of one lemon or 1 tsp of white vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve borscht with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche and sprinkled with fresh dill or parsley.