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Borscht: the perfect soup for when you want to feel healthy but need something packed with flavor. It’s like a hug in a bowl, if that hug was made of beets and potatoes. This tasty Ukrainian soup will become a new family favorite!

I love recreating eastern European recipes at home! After you make this hearty and delicious Borscht, you’ll have to try my homemade pierogi recipe as well as this Hungarian stew. They’re both so satisfying and delicious!

Beet soup served in a gray bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh dill on top.

What is Borscht?

If you’ve never tried it, borscht is a traditional soup that originated in Eastern Europe. It’s made with beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and sometimes meat. (Yum!) It’s usually served with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread (usually rye). Borscht is a popular dish in many countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania. The soup is known for its bright purple color and sweet and savory taste. It’s a healthy and filling meal that’s perfect for cold weather, and it’s also a great way to get your daily serving of vegetables! It’s also packed with fiber, making it the perfect pot of nutrition.

You won’t believe how easy it is to make borscht! All you need to do is chop up some veggies, throw them in a pot with water, and let it simmer away until everything is cooked through. And the best part? You can add leftovers from your fridge! Got some extra carrots and celery lying around? Toss them in! And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even add some meat or beans for extra protein. Once everything is cooked, just add a dollop of sour cream and voila! You’ve got a delicious and healthy meal in no time. So next time you’re feeling lazy but still want something hearty, give this beet soup a try!

Borscht Ingredients

Who knew that such simple ingredients could create such a delicious and colorful soup? Borscht proves that beets, potatoes, and cabbage are more than just boring veggies – they’re the stars of the show! It’s the ultimate combination of comfort and flavor. Check out the recipe card below for all measurements.

  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing vegetables, this oil adds a subtle, fruity flavor to the soup. Can also be substituted with other cooking oils like vegetable or canola oil.
  • Chopped Carrots: Adds a natural sweetness and a pop of color to the soup.
  • Chopped Potatoes: Makes the soup thick and hearty. You can substitute this with other starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or butternut squash if you’d like!
  • Sliced Cabbage: Adds a bit of crunch and earthiness to the soup. You can also use leafy greens like kale or spinach instead.
  • Minced Garlic Cloves: Adds bold, savory flavor to the borscht. If you don’t have fresh garlic, garlic powder also works!
  • Chicken Broth: Provides a savory, flavorful base for the soup. Beef broth works too! Use vegetable broth for a vegetarian or vegan version.
  • Whole Canned Beets: The star ingredient of borscht! Beets give the soup its distinctive earthy, sweet flavor and vibrant purple color. If you can’t find whole beets, you can also use canned diced beets or fresh beets (roasted or boiled) that have been peeled and chopped.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add both to taste.
  • Sour Cream: (For garnish) Provides a creamy, tangy contrast to the soup. If you don’t like sour cream, you can use Greek yogurt or crème fraîche instead.
  • Fresh Chopped Dill: (For garnish) Adds a fresh, herbal zing to the soup.

How to Make Ukrainian Borscht

Making borscht is as easy as a walk in the park (only 3 steps!), and the whole family will fall in love with its earthy sweetness and vibrant color! It’s the perfect soup to warm your heart and fill your belly. Plus, it’s a great way to get your daily dose of veggies and vitamins!

  1. Sauté Veggies: In a large stock pot over medium high heat, heat your olive oil and toss in your chipped carrots, curbed potatoes, and sliced cabbage. Cook until the vegetables just begin to soften. You’ll know they are ready when your potatoes just begin to start getting transparent. Then toss in your garlic and sauté everything for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in Remaining Ingredients: Add in your vegetable broth, chopped beets, salt and pepper and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until your vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve and Enjoy: Serve hot with sour cream and fresh dill, add more salt and pepper to taste.
4-photo collage of vegetables being sauteed and added to a soup pot.

Tips and Tricks

Borscht is super easy to customize. Here are a few ways you can make it your own! You’re going to love it. This is the perfect hearty dinner to make while nights are still chilly.

  • Adjust Seasoning: Borscht is a versatile soup, so feel free to adjust the salt, pepper, and other spices to your liking.
  • Using Other Vegetables: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables! You can add other root vegetables like parsnips or turnips, leafy greens like kale or spinach, or even mushrooms or tomatoes.
  • Different Broth: Instead of chicken or vegetable broth, try using beef or mushroom broth for a richer, heartier flavor.
  • Add Protein: To make the soup more filling, you can also add protein like shredded chicken, beef, or sausage. Vegetarians can add beans or tofu.
  • More Toppings: Sour cream and dill are classic toppings for borscht, but you can also try crumbled feta cheese, chopped scallions, or a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serve With Bread: Borscht is traditionally served with bread, so try pairing it with a crusty baguette, French bread, or pumpernickel for a hearty meal.

Storing Leftovers

Borscht is the gift that keeps on giving – it lasts for days! You can easily heat it up throughout the week for a hearty, nutrient-packed lunch.

  • In the Refrigerator: In an airtight container, borscht will stay good for about one week.
  • In the Freezer: You can also freeze leftovers! Keep them in an airtight container or freezer bag and then store for 2-3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Top-down view of borscht being scooped up with a ladle in a large pot.

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Borscht

5 from 1 vote
By: Alyssa Rivers
Borscht: the perfect soup for when you want to feel healthy but need something packed with flavor. It's like a hug in a bowl, if that hug was made of beets and potatoes. This tasty Ukrainian soup will become a new family favorite!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 large potato cubed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 15 ounce cans whole beets drained and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper more to taste
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • Fresh chopped dill for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a large stock pot over medium high heat, heat your olive oil and toss in your chipped carrots, curbed potatoes, and sliced cabbage. Cook until the vegetables just begin to soften. You’ll know they are ready when your potatoes just begin to start getting transparent. Toss in your garlic and saute everything for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in your vegetable broth, chopped beets, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until your vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with sour cream and fresh dill, add more salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 559mgPotassium: 375mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2765IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Eastern European, Ukrainian
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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3 Comments

    1. I would try white kidney beans (drained and rinsed) but you could try adding whichever kind you like!

  1. 5 stars
    thank you, I’d always assumed it was all beets, maybe because of the color, good to know, great set of ingredients!