Borscht (beet soup) is sweet and sour, made with red beets and other vegetables, then topped with fresh dill and sour cream. This recipe is a vegetarian version that’s easy, healthy, delicious, and beautiful!
People sure have strong feelings about beets – I think you either hate them or love them madly. I’m the latter and convinced those who do hate them, have just never had them prepared in an amazing way. Like roasted beets, pickled beets, in a beet salad, or tried Borscht (beet soup.)
This Borscht recipe was given to me by my friend, Elena. She’s Russian, so you know it’s the real deal!
What is Borscht
Borscht (also spelled borsch, borshch, or borsht), is a traditional beet soup from the Ukraine and loved all over Russia and many other Eastern European countries. In Russia, Poland, and other Eastern European countries, borscht simply means “sour soup,” and the word comes from the Russian borshch, “cow parsnip.”
The base of Borscht always includes beets, cabbage, and something contributing to the sour flavor, such as vinegar or lemon juice. After that, it depends on the region. Some Borscht recipes include beef, sausage, potatoes, parsnips, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, or dried smelt. Also the way beets are incorporated can vary, sometimes sliced, cubed, or grated.
Borscht Ingredients: This particular recipe is for vegetarian borscht, with beets, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, beans, vegetable broth, dill, and sour cream. It’s rich, sweet and sour, wonderfully delicious with a vibrant ruby red color. I love this version so much since it can accommodate friends and family with dietary restrictions and it also keeps better, but doesn’t lack in flavor.
How to Make Borscht
Having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go, makes this borscht recipe a super easy process. Here’s a brief summary (scroll down for the complete printable.)
- You’ll start by making roasted beets (this can be done the day before to save on time.) Peel and grate them, then drizzle with lemon juice.
- Peel, grate, chop, slice and dice all of the other vegetables.
- Blend or mince together dill, scallions, garlic, sugar, and salt to make a paste.
- Saute the vegetables in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Add the veggie broth and water; simmer.
- Stir in the beets, beans, and herb paste to warm through.
- Let stand for a bit to let the flavors meld.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and more fresh dill.
Is Borscht served hot or cold?
I always serve Borscht soup warm, but it can be eaten hot or cold, topped with a dollop of sour cream. (Don’t skip the sour cream, if possible. The tanginess and fat balances the acidity of the soup and also provides a nice contrast to the sweet beets, giving it a nice rich flavor.)
Serve it as an appetizer with dinner or as a light meal with some Irish soda bread, or dark rye bread rubbed with a garlic clove for a more authentic experience.
Is Borscht healthy?
Yes! It’s so healthy and nutritious. Beetroots (beets) are low in calories, but packed with vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. They’ve been known to aid in lowering blood pressure, increase blood flow to the brain, and help improve circulation. Their anti-inflammatory properties have also been known to help with chronic inflammation associated with cancer, heart disease, and liver disease, just to name a few. It’s a super vegetable!
As a whole, this beet soup recipe is high in nutrients and perfect for people who are on a special diet. The beets, carrots, onions, cabbage, and beans are all rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Plus it’s so delicious!
How long does Borscht last?
This vegetarian borscht recipe is easy to store and actually tastes even better the next day!
Store in the refrigerator – Borscht can last for up to 3 days in a tightly sealed container. The flavors will deepen each day it is stored.
Can you freeze Borscht? Yep! Borscht freezes quite well. Store it in tightly sealed freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thawing first before reheating on the stove (over low heat) is preferable, but not necessary.
What to eat with Borscht
- Topping with a dollop of full fat sour cream is a must, in my humble opinion!
- Finishing it off with a few sprigs of fresh dill is also recommended.
- Make some Irish soda bread for dunking, or dark rye bread rubbed with a garlic clove for a more authentic experience.
Other Wonderful Soup Recipes
Watch the Video
- 2 medium roasted beets (or boiled)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- small bunch fresh dill , plus more for serving
- 2 scallions
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet onion , diced
- 1 large carrot , peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium potatoes , peeled and diced
- 2 1/2 cups sliced green cabbage
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and ground black pepper , to taste
- sour cream , for serving (optional, but highly recommended)
- Start by making roasted beets (this can be done the day before to save on time.) Alternatively, you can also boil them.
- Peel and grate the beets; drizzle with lemon juice and toss to coat. (You should end up with about 2 cups.)
- Using a small blender or immersion blender, blend together the dill, scallions, garlic, sugar, and a pinch of salt until it forms a paste. (Alternatively, you can just mince the herbs and garlic together with a knife and stir in the sugar and salt.)
- In a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or so.
- Pour in vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then add potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add cabbage and simmer for another 5 minutes. (Potatoes should be done at this point. If not, let them cook for another 5 minutes.)
- Add in the beets and beans. Stir and let warm through for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the herb and garlic paste, along with the bay leaves.
- Stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
- Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, more fresh dill, and Irish soda bread or dark rye bread for dunking, if desired.