The ingredient list looks long but the steps to making a really good, heartwarming soup are short. It comes together in no time. I have never met a soup yet that didn't go well with the proverbial crusty bread and this soup doesn't buck that pairing. This recipe is adapted from The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. —thirschfeld
sausage, your choice, Italian and Wiesswurst are nice choices
Lemon slices and sour cream for garnish
Melt the butter in an enameled 4-quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the grated beets. Cook the beets until they are tender.
Add the fennel, garlic, carrots and cabbage. Stir a few times then add the broth, sugar, bay leaf and vinegar. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
If the sausage is raw, cook it whole in a separate pan being sure to brown the casings nicely. Once they are cooked, remove them from the pan, slice them and add them to the soup towards the end of cooking, and likewise, if the sausages were precooked, slice and add them toward the end of cooking as well.
Once the sausage is warm, the veggies tender, serve the soup hot with sour cream and lemon slices on the side.