For the beets, peel them and trim off both ends. Dice 2 beets and shred 1 beet, keeping the chopped beet separate from the shredded beet (because they get added at different times).
Heat the oil over medium heat in a 5-quart pot. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the stock and cabbage and bring it up to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook 10 minutes.
Add the diced beet. Bring back up to a boil, cover the pot, and turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook 10 minutes.
Add the shredded beet, carrot, celery, potato, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and allspice. Bring back up to a boil, cover the pot, and turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and dill.
Taste and add additional salt and lemon juice if desired.
Serve along with fresh lemon wedges and more dill on top.
Vinegar is a common addition to Borscht. However, I use lemon juice because I wanted to keep this soup Passover-friendly without any modifications. Of course you could use red wine vinegar if you prefer, or look for a vinegar that’s certified kosher for Passover to use instead of lemon juice. If you are making this soup for Passover, be sure that your vegetable stock is kosher for Passover if you’re not using homemade vegetable stock.
Sour cream is a delicious topping for this soup.
To make this soup a full meal and keep it vegetarian, you can serve it topped with poached egg or hard-boiled egg.
If keeping this soup vegetarian isn’t a concern, you can use chicken or beef stock instead of vegetable stock.