Hearty Russian Tomato Cabbage Borscht
Place two or three bay leaves, fresh dill (the more the better), ten black peppercorns, and either crushed chili peppers (or preferably two whole dried red peppers) in a cheesecloth and tie. Pour ten cups of water into soup pot. Drop cheesecloth with spices into pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for at least three hours. This would be a good time to start your buns that Lovella has posted.
Remove cheesecloth and spices (and beef bone if used).
Cook until tender. Add 1 large can chopped tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.
Add two cans of tomato soup. If not using a soup bone or for low-fat version you would need to add either beef broth for flavour or I use low sodium chicken broth - 2 cans should do it.
Simmer as long as you can for full flavour. Add salt and/or a wee bit of white vinegar to taste. Serve with Lovella's Zwieback buns and fresh sour cream as a topping.