4 medium size beets with tops
1 onion, peeled
4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup mild vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar ( to taste)
Cut tops from beets 2 inches from the roots. Scrub beets thoroughly; cover with cold water, and boil 15 minutes or until tender enough to pierce with a wooden pick.
While beets are boiling, wash leaves and chop fine in a wooden bowl. The stems may be used, too.
Strain liquid from beets into a bowl or soup pot. Slip skins from beets and grate them using a fine grater. Grate onion into grated beets.
Add grated beet mixture to the strained beet juice, boiled water and chopped beet tops. Add salt and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes.
Add vinegar sweetened to taste with brown sugar. Cool and chill in closed jars. Add a boiled potato, 3 tablespoons diced cucumber and 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream to each bowl just before serving. (Garnish with fresh dill if desired).
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