Clear Beet Borscht with Mushrooms


1 oz dried mushrooms
3 qt and 1 ½ C water
2 med potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
2 med stalks celery, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 med carrots, sliced
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 T salt
8-9 peppercorns
1 ½ lb beets
3 T lemon juice
1 T sugar
sour cream for garnish

Soak dried mushrooms 2 hours in 1 ½ C water. In large kettle, combine 3 qt water, potatoes, celery, garlic, turnip, carrots, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns. Simmer gently for 1-2 hour. Strain the broth, discard vegetables. Drain mushrooms and reserve cooking liquid. Slice in julienne strips. Strain liquid thru muslin or coffee filter and add liquid and mushrooms to broth. Peel beets and cut injulienne strips. Add beets to broth. Add lemon juice and sugar. Simmer soup for another 20-25 min or until beets are tender. Taste, correct seasonings, and serve, garnishing each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream.