by Olena

Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

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Olena Osipov
5 from 60 votes

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Sharing my grandma’s Borscht Recipe I grew up eating in Ukraine. This iconic beet soup is made with beef (or vegetarian), cabbage, potatoes, carrots, garlic and dill, and then served with a dollop of sour cream and rye bread.

Looking for more Ukrainian recipes? Try grandma’s unstuffed cabbage rolls and chicken noodle soup.

Ukrainian Borscht recipe served in white bowl with sour cream

What Is Borscht?

If you don’t know what is borscht, it is deep red coloured soup with cabbage, beets, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic, and possibly beef and beans. Then served with sour cream and dill. Essentially, borscht is a superfood and a meal in itself.

“Borscht”, “borsch”, “borsh” or “борщ” is a true classic soup every Ukrainian or Russian grew up eating almost weekly. This is my grandma’s original borscht recipe I grew up with in Ukraine. It can be vegan, vegetarian; with beef, pork or even chicken.

It truly depends what’s in your fridge that day. That’s how borscht came about – out of necessity and hunger.

borscht in white pot with ladle and white blue towel on a counter

Ingredients for Borsch Recipe

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Dill
  • Tomato paste
  • Vinegar and sugar
  • Bay leaves
  • Water or broth
  • Salt and pepper

Beef or beans are optional. If you choose to add meat – ribs, soup bones or any cut with a bit of fat is best. As for beans – any large white, red kidney or pinto beans will hold the shape and add bulk.

ukrainian borscht recipe ingredients on the countertop

How to Make Borscht

How to make borsch? It is actually very easy and anyone can do it. I like my borsch full of vegetables, with thin broth, lots of fresh garlic and dill.

  • Prep veggies: You want to start with cabbage first because it takes longest to cook. While cabbage is cooking, you can prep other veggies.
  • Cook cabbage in broth with bay leaves and peppercorns for 20 minutes after bringing to a boil. Chop beets, potatoes, carrots and onion in the meanwhile.
  • Saute onion and carrots in a bit of olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. This makes onion flavorful.
  • Then add beets and a bit more oil, cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer sauteed veggies to the pot along with potatoes, tomato paste and salt. Cook covered for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prep garlic, dill and other seasonings.
  • Season borscht with vinegar, garlic, sugar and pepper. Stir, turn off heat and let borscht stand for 10 minutes covered to allow flavors to “marry” each other. Add dill and serve.
borscht in the pot with ladle

How to Peel and Cut Beets and Other Veggies

  • Beets: Peel beets with a regular vegetable peeler and cut into thick matchsticks. You can also grate beets on a boxed grater or in a food processor. Beetroot stains your hands and cutting board however I do not appreciate the waste of disposable gloves. Instead, rub your hands and cutting board with a slice of lemon. Amazing!
  • Cabbage: Thinly uniformly shredded cabbage using a mandoline is my favorite. But my grandma always shredded it with a knife and I prefer it that way for Russian shchi. Red or green cabbage doesn’t matter because beets will turn anything red.
  • Potatoes: Cube potatoes into smaller pieces to soak up more soup flavor. Cover them in a bowl with cold water to prevent from browning while they are waiting their turn.
  • Onion and carrots: Dice the onion like for frying, a mirepoix size. And carrots into small rounds and wider part into half moons.

Is Borscht Russian or Ukrainian?

Borscht is neither Ukrainian or Russian. It is national Slavic dish that has a history of centuries. Borsch is iconic soup recipe cooked in every household of any former republic that belonged to USSR – Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Belorussia etc.

There are as many variations of Ukrainian/Russian borscht recipes as there are regions and families. Everyone makes it differently, even within the same family. I recently started making even Instant Pot borsch. But all girls in my family – mom, grandma, sister, aunt and me made it differently. That is even in the same kitchen we all used to share. Even my sister-in-law and mother-in-law cook their borscht differently.

borsch closeup

What Does Borscht Taste Like?

Borsch tastes like sweet and tangy soup. Earthy flavors of beets shine through, so this beet soup definitely tastes like beets. Because we add vinegar, you want it to taste slightly vinegary and sweet with a pinch of sugar and natural sweetness of veggies. And lots of fresh dill and garlic after this delicious Ukrainian soup is cooked. As much as you like to taste, and us, Ukrainians, like to add a lot!

Do you love beets? As a kid I couldn’t stand them but now I can’t wait for fresh local beetroot. I buy quite a few lbs at a time, make Instant Pot beets and refrigerate. Then throughout the week serve on their own, make beet salad with arugula or the most delicious beets with goat cheese and pine nuts.

What to Serve Borsh With?

  • My favorite part – What to serve borscht with?! That’s when I go all out.
  • Sour cream or yogurt: Sour cream is traditional. We use plain yogurt with more than 2% fat because it is lighter than sour cream. Last week I tried local buffalo yogurt which is apparently even more healthy than cow’s. Some people also love mayo in their borscht but it’s not for me.
  • Rye bread: Rye bread is dense dark coloured bread. I find mine in a bread section seal wrapped for freshness. It is often German. Sourdough bread would be great too! I toast it to resemble freshly baked Ukrainian bread. Nothing compares though. buffalo yogurt and rye bread
  • More garlic: Many Ukrainians eat borscht while biting on a clove of garlic in between the spoonfuls. The key is to eat garlic together with your husband and don’t leave the house that night.:)
  • More dill: I add dill to the pot and then to individual bowls. There is no such thing as too much garlic and dill, almost never. I’m such Ukrainian at heart.

This is how I ate borscht as a kid – rub garlic on rye bread, spread it with sour cream and sprinkle with salt. By the way, my Canadian born kids love borscht! Try on yours and see. Would love to hear how it goes. 🙂

borscht with yogurt, dill, garlic and rye bread

How to Store and Freeze

Borscht is like a good bottle of wine, it gets better with time. Therefore, I always make a very large pot and we eat it for days or freeze.

Refrigerate borscht in a large pot you cooked it in for up to 5 days. Reheat by simmering on low in small pot only amount you are planning to consume. Freeze in an airtight glass container for up to 3 months. Then thaw on a counter overnight and reheat.

What Type of Stock to Use?

  • Store bought or homemade beef or chicken stock: You can use regular stock from a carton. It adds good flavor and I quite like it. I highly recommend to buy organic and low sodium. What I don’t like is a lot of packaging and price (in Canada) but hopefully you recycle. 🙂 That’s why I often make batches of pressure cooker broth and freeze for later.
  • Water: I make water based borscht more often than not because it’s easy. In this case, I make sure to add a can of low sodium beans to up the protein, a bit more olive oil and maybe an organic bouillon cube, if I have it.
  • Beef bones (my fave): If you choose to add meat, cook broth with ribs, soup bones or any cut with a bit of fat first. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, skimming foam occasionally. After borscht is ready, remove meat, separate from bones and discard bones, finely chop and return meat to the pot.
  • Bone broth (my fave): This time I was ready, stopped by my local beef farm, got soup bones and made Instant pot bone broth. So proud today haha. So much health right here in this pot. It came out so rich, I diluted half of it with water and used for borscht. And cooked the other half with more water and same bones for more bone broth. Ukrainian in me will never die. 🙂 And I LOVE my Instant Pot, even only for this reason alone.

beef stock made in Instant Pot makes base for borscht

This is how we do borscht. Have you ever tried borscht? Would love to hear your experience. I promise Ukrainian borscht recipe would be one of the most delicious and healthiest soups you have ever tried. Enjoy!

More Healthy Soup Recipes

borscht in white pot garnished with dill
Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

Step-by-Step Authentic Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

Sharing my grandma's Borscht Recipe I grew up eating in Ukraine. This iconic beet soup is made with beef or vegetarian, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, garlic and dill, and then served with a dollop of sour cream and rye bread.
4.99 from 60 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 12 cups beef or vegetable broth or stock low sodium
  • 5 cups green or red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large beets peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 6 oz can tomato paste low sodium
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar or maple syrup
  • 3 large garlic cloves grated
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dill or parsley finely chopped
  • Yogurt sour cream and rye bread, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large pot (I use 6 quart Dutch oven), add broth, bay leaves and bring to a boil. In the meanwhile, wash, peel and cut vegetables.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • Once broth is boiling, add cabbage, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • In the meanwhile, preheat large skillet on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add onion, carrots and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • Add beets, remaining 1 tbsp of oil and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • Transfer sauteed veggies to a pot along with potatoes, tomato paste and salt. Cover, bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • Turn off heat. Add vinegar, sugar, garlic and pepper. Stir and let borscht sit for 10 minutes to allow flavours to marry each other. Add dill, stir and adjust any seasonings to taste.
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
  • Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, bread and garlic clove on the side (this is not for everyone).
    Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

Store and reheat: Refrigerate borscht in a large pot you cooked it in for up to 5 days. Reheat by simmering on low in small pot only amount you are planning to consume.

    Freeze: Freeze in an airtight glass container for up to 3 months. Then thaw on a counter overnight and reheat.

      Video

      Notes

      • Store bought stock: You can use regular stock from a carton. Preferably organic and low sodium, if you can.
      • Beef bones: If you choose to add meat, cook broth with ribs, soup bones or any cut with a bit of fat first. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, skimming foam occasionally. After borscht is ready, remove meat, separate from bones and discard bones, finely chop and return meat to the pot.
      • Bone broth: This time I made Instant pot bone broth and used half of it diluted with water as a soup base.
      • Vegetarian: I make water based borscht more often than not because it’s easy. In this case, I make sure to add a can of low sodium beans to up the protein, a bit more olive oil and maybe an organic bouillon cube, if I have it.
      • Beans: If not using meat, you can add a can of drained beans. Any large white, red kidney or pinto beans.
      • Sauerkraut: If you replace 2 cups of cabbage with 2 cups of sauerkraut, borscht will have even more umph.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 2cups | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3988IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg
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      161 comments on “Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

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      1. I made my husband a Ukrainian Christmas dinner and used this recipe. I was a little nervous as he swore by his mom’s recipe. He said this soup was delicious and a keeper 😊. Thanks for this

      2. 5 stars
        Really fantastic recipe! I made this for my husband, who doesn’t typically like borscht, but he liked your recipe! I liked it too, and went back for seconds. Thanks for sharing!

      3. 5 stars
        I just made this and it came out so well, thank you for the clear step by step guidance. It is really one of the best recipes I’ve ever followed. I made a vegan version and added butter beans during step 5 like you recommended in the comments. Instead of oil, I water sautéed. Still came out deliciously rich.

      4. 5 stars
        Hello – My father was Ukrainian and made a borsht for Christmas Eve to which he added small dumplings filled with finely chopped sauteed mushrooms and onion. First, he cut the dumpling dough into small squares, put the filling in then pinched the opposite corners together. They were shaped like a bishop’s hat then dropped into the simmering borsht until they were cooked less than 10 minutes. I believe he called them “ushky” which he told me meant “piglet ears.” I can’t find this recipe anywhere or the mention of “ushky.” Would you have any insight into this? My parents have been gone for decades and there’s no one left to ask. Would just like to know if you have any insights. Thanks so much! Your borsht looks awesome and I will try it for this Christmas holiday.

        1. Hi Alexandra. To be honest I have never heard of these dumplings or saw anyone make them in Ukraine. However, there are so many regions with different variations of the same dish. “Ushki” means ears, your dad was right. Sorry I couldn’t be of help but I hope you enjoy my borscht. 🙂

        2. I have had this exact dish before on Christmas, but it was made by a Polish friend from Krakow. Sadly I don’t have the recipe but it is wonderful!

      5. 5 stars
        Wonderfully flavourful! I used all veggies straight from the garden ❤️ Thank you for the great instruction.

      6. Hi, live on Vancouver Is. too and grew up in a Ukrainian community in Sask with lots of wonderful food. This recipe sounds delicious and is on my stove right now! Thanks a lot.

      7. Hello , I’m making this soup tomorrow with all my garden veg, I will be canning it . I to live on the island, Victoria, and love what the island offers . We also own a house in Powell River, our retirement home.

      8. Hi Olena, I am trying your recipe soon and I plan on using my slow cooker. Do you think that will be OK??

      9. 5 stars
        I love borscht, and I too like lots of veg from the garden , onions carrots, beets and beet leaves celery garlic…tomatoes and Tom paste. I usually make soup base from the bones of a roast chicken or beef roast . Depending on the season the borscht is usually made when the garden veges are coming. Winter time , I always add a handful dried beet leaves and stems to a veg soup….. my husband loves soup of every kind…. So not hard to please , thankyou for your recipie.

      10. We have beets in the garden now in the Central USA and I’m eager to try this. We are enjoying your split pea soup this evening!

      11. 5 stars
        Dear Olena, I am a happy want to be home chef, and I experiment with lots of different dishes, but I have a simple question. I am going to surprise my Ukrainian friend by making her this Borscht recipe. Thing is, what would be a good way to store this and then deliver? I had read an article that in the Ukraine, it was common to have the soup stored in a mason jar in the fridge? So, if I make this… let it cool to room temp?? and then place in a Mason Jar and lid it by hand snuggly, maybe put a ribbon around it… keep it cold overnight and deliver the next day, would this be a good idea? Or should I stay with a more modern container.. I don’t want to look silly, nor do I know if I should let it cool down to room temp prior to the fridge. What do you think? Hope it turns out good!! wish me luck!! John

        1. Hi John. Yes, with any soup after cooking you have to cool it at room temperature and only then place in the fridge. The only thing I can think of people would use gallon size jars to transport it and store cause that’ all we had. We usually stored everything in same pot in the fridge. I would just put it in a large glass (or plastic but glass is tastier) container with snap on tight leak proof lid. No ribbon although will be a cute touch. 🙂 But large Mason jar is an option too if that’ all you have. I once drove borscht to my neighbour and it leaked in a car, oh boy, that took a while to clean up. So, use good leak proof container. Good luck!!!

      12. Borscht is unique to every area,sorrel borscht,green is awesome,my babar also from Kiev taught me well,hence zolotyi,gold standard because sorrel only can be grown and harvested for a short time,that’s why baba said it was golden,dill is king ,olena lou blue

      13. 5 stars
        Hello dear Olena!
        Very good and very, very healthy recipe. I’m Romanian living in Texas. I make at least 2 times a month this bortsh and my family and all American friends love it. You also can be creative and use what you have at hand. I put and some beet leafs when they are very fresh. It is amazing any way and anytime. We like and your barley soup. Thank you for sharing with us your story and your grandmother recipe. Have a beautiful Springtime and Happy Easter!

        1. Hi Doina! Thank you for your kind words. I am so thankful that you are enjoying my borscht and barley soup recipes 🙂

      14. 5 stars
        Holy moly! This recipe is fantastic! I’ve never bought beets before, let alone cooked with them, but after getting a couple of beets in my CSA box a few days ago, I decided to try to make your borscht after googling my options. Your recipe was easy to follow and the results were delicious. Thank you for sharing!

      15. 5 stars
        Dear Olena,
        Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I always loved borscht. And still do!! Although, I am Polish, this soup is well known and widely used by most people in Poland. And now, I am sharing it with my American Family who asked me for the recipe. We will be enjoying it wholeheartedly for years to come.
        Thanks
        Malgosia

      16. Your recipe sounds wonderful and I plan on trying it soon.
        My mother comes from Eastern Ukraine and she would occasionally make ‘золотий борщ‘. She passed away and I don’t remember how she made it. Are you familiar with this version and if so would you have the recipe?

      17. 5 stars
        Fantastic recipe. Very flavorful, healthy main meal. I made it with meat (soup bones, beef ribs) & beef stock. It came out beautifully. I highly recommend this wonderful recipe. And, you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

      18. Good morning. Wow I can’t believe it. The only difference in my recipe is the number of bay leaves. Our son is in Alberta and at Christmas he was desperately wanting both Borscht and Kapusta. He found a Facebook post for Borscht and Cabbage Rolls and decided to make a purchase. Needless to say, he wasted $40.00. He seems to think that I could bubble wrap mason jars filled with both and ship them Canada Post, but its simply not possible. As your instructions are amazing, I have printed off this recipe as well as the Instant Borscht in hopes he will try to get that “taste of home”. I just discovered your site and will be eagerly exploring. So far, it all looks wonderful and authentically Ukrainian. Thank you.

        Sincerely,

        Linda (Olga, Olena) Balan

        1. I’m also in Alberta, and I’ve seen that same Facebook ad, and I’ve also bought the Borscht, cabbage rolls, and pierogi from the same place. It just barely scratched the itch, nothing like what I grew up with. I feel his pain.

      19. 5 stars
        I love the the way you write directions, and I love that there is a video tutorial to follow along with! So easy to follow and so, so yummy! This was my time having borscht and it is unlike any soup I’ve ever had. I love it!

      20. 5 stars
        I’ve made a few of your recipes now and both myself and my 3 year old love them (I always liquidise soup for him or he won’t eat it but still delicious)! This borscht is no exception with a generous dollop of sour cream 😋 possibly the best soup I’ve had. Thank you for these. I’m so glad I found your blog as your recipes are all winners and so healthy for my growing boy

      21. 5 stars
        Olena – I scanned the Internet for vegetarian borscht recipes and yours nailed it. It was really good the first night but the next day it made it into the crazy good category! I made a few adjustments – mostly adds – to adjust to my preferences. I have found roasting beets really bring out the flavor, so I first roasted them for an hour at 400F. All I do is clean the beets, leave whole including a couple of inches of stem and the entire root, and place in a small covered enameled cast iron Dutch oven. No need to wrap in foil. While the beets are roasting, I do all the chopping and sautéing. I also added a couple of stalks of chopped celery and a small chopped red bell pepper to the sauté. For the volume, I thought it needed more vinegar to give it enough zing so I used a 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbs. quality red wine vinegar. For serving, I also mixed some horseradish into the Greek yogurt (I really like “zing”). Thanks so much, and happy eating!

        1. Hi Darius! Thank you so much for your awesome feedback on my borscht recipe as well as the info on roasting beets!

      22. 5 stars
        I have been making Borscht for several years and I often try different recipes to try and find the best one. Found it! This is by far the best one I have made. I used beef in the recipe, and followed your directions. Tender, flavourful, and beautiful.
        Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
        I look forward to trying out some of your other recipes!

      23. 5 stars
        very tasty! I never had Borscht before and my daughters friend Ukrainian and she asked me to make it because she liked it..turned out great. highly recommended, one of my favorites in a cold snowy day
        I used my own beef broth

      24. 5 stars
        Hi Olena! I just made your borscht for my family. It will be passed down in my family! We are not Ukrainian I’m American out of touch with Sicilian and Scandinavian heritage. My husband is Mexican and Guatemalan. He loved this and our toddler kept asking for more! Can’t wait to have the leftovers. Very inexpensive and practical. I love this so much thank you.

        1. I love your amazing feedback, Tara. Makes me so happy that your family is enjoying my grandma’s borscht recipe 🙂

      25. 4 stars
        Добрый день Олена! I cooked this for my husband and he loved it! I omitted the vinegar and made a huge pot of it! My Ukrainian friends are very proud of me! What part of the Ukraine are you from? Robin

      26. 5 stars
        I really loved this recipe. I am of Slavic background so this soup has played in the background of my life as long as I can remember. I have made many types of this soup: green, white (made with white beets grown in the garden), Polish, Russian, wine and those for an army of neighbors. What people seem to forget is that this is a peasant soup, usually made with ingredients that varied as much as leeks, spinach, celery, mushrooms, turnips and anything else that was ready for the picking. I have made this soup with just about any variety of beet that I could grow. It is my son’s favorite soup of all time and mine. The recipe that I have been searching for is for a soup that my Grandma called Chinina. And it is made from duck and the blood and contained raisins and sometimes prunes along with an assortment of vegies and egg noodles. If anyone can enlighten me as to this lovely sweet soup, email me

        1. Hi Anna! I am so happy that you enjoyed my grandma’s borscht recipe. You are right. There are so many variations of this soup. And it does differ depending on what you have on hand. I hope another reader can help you find the Chinina recipe you are looking for!

        2. 5 stars
          Hello my family has been doing our DNA. We have found out we are Eastern European and now discovering the different kinds of foods. We love this soup. I make this once a week. Delicious.

        3. Anna, I love that soup too! It sounds like the way you spelled it, however, it’s spelled “Czarnina”. Best of luck choosing a recipe, as there are several, happy cooking!!

        4. Anna, I think the duck blood soup is called charnina. You may be able to Google polish recipes and find it from a polish cook. My Mom made it and I enjoyed it as a child but I’m not so sure I would enjoy it now. Good luck. Nancy G.

      27. 5 stars
        I always make a huge pot of borscht with freezing part of it in mind. But I find that freezing compromises the texture of the cabbage (slimy) and potatoes (crumbly), so I just change the order of the ingredients and hold back on those two until last. Before adding them, I fill up some containers and freeze the soup that way, then continue the recipe for eating the rest right away. When reheating the frozen soup, it’s easy to add in the cabbage and potato and allow it to simmer long enough for the potatoes to cook. I even prefer the fresher taste of the cabbage not being overdone, and have even used bok choy for a delicious variation if I don’t have the regular kind on hand!

      28. Hi Olena! Growing up my Polish grandmother, aunt, and my father all made borscht but added ham. Does that change the recipe at all? Would I follow your suggestion for adding beef?
        Thanks – I love your recipes!

      29. 5 stars
        Oh my gosh! This is unbelievably awesome borsch! I am Ukrainian myself and was very sceptical about the order of the ingredients (I would never ever put cabbage first!); then the amount of tomato paste (that’s too much, as I thought!). However, I took a risk and followed the recipe to the letter (except for adding a bit more water as it was too solid for me). The borscht turned out soooo tasty! I will never go back to my old recipe! Thank you, Olena!

        1. Hi , my grandma was Ukrainian & my mom inherited her Borsht recipe.
          My family loves it also. It’s very much the same as Olena’s . I made it yesterday but could not find my moms book , so did remember most. But did put in too much vinegar my husband liked it not so much the rest of us.
          What can I use to add to my soup to Cover up the Vinegar flavour?????
          Please & thankyou . I used beef bones for my broth & cut off the beef, which added at the end.

      30. 5 stars
        Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s recipe. We love borscht, but I haven’t made it in a few years. My husband would be so happy if I made it again. I’ll try your version and let you know how it turns out – I already know it will be amazingly delicious!

      31. 5 stars
        I followed your directions exactly as written and this is truly delicious! If I were to add beans would I add them near the end of cooking?

      32. 5 stars
        A really good, simple borscht recipe! Mine was initially a little bland (probably from the chicken stock I used), but I added a little more boullion and some extra vinegar and it sorted things out. Looking forward to enjoying this for the next few days!

        1. 5 stars
          Great recipe and wonderfully easy to add or substitute. This was my first time making borscht and I used produce from a local farm.
          I used a water base and added one beef bouillon cube. This is just a terrific, savory soup that I look forward to making many more times in the fall. Next time, I will try completely vegan or with some meat…. I’ll probably try both.
          I did not have any rye bread on hand but would love to try.
          That dollop of sour cream on top is superb! I have never enjoyed so much garlic and dill before.
          Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the details

      33. 5 stars
        I worked in the Ukraine for 2 years, and borscht was my favourite meal.
        It varied from area to area its flavour texture are second to none. If you are given the chance to try you will not be disappointed

      34. 5 stars
        I made this yesterday and it is delicious! It reminds me of my many trips to Ukraine and my host family’s dinners in Brovary. I cannot wait to get back to visit my friends again soon.

      35. 5 stars
        There I was, searching for a borscht recipe that resembled the look of the delicious soup my Baba used to make, when I found your blog! I cannot wait to try your recipes!

        Sending well wishes and thanks from Vancouver Island!!

      36. Hi Olena, the Ukrainian Borscht looks delicious and I’m planning to make it. A few questions for you. Will a 5 and-a-half quart Dutch oven be large enough? (12 cups of broth, and other ingredients seems a lot.). How many peppercorns should I add to the broth? Do I remove them before serving or not? What potato do you recommend for this recipe? Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Janette. 5 1/2 quart should be fine, that’s what I have. you can always start with 10 cups liquid. 3-5 peppercorns and you can remove them from the pot before laddling. Same with bay leaves. In Ukraine peppercorns were spicy, so we removed them for sure. Here I don’t cause they are pretty mild. We use any potato for borscht. Russet will fall apart more if that’s what you like. Enjoy!

          1. 5 stars
            Hi Olena, I wanted to let you know that I made your borscht, following exactly your recipe (including 12 cups of stock), and it was TERRIFIC. (By the way, I used red potatoes and they worked out fine.). The soup was sooo tasty. Thanks so much.

      37. 5 stars
        I love your recipes, I’m Czech living in US, I can’t stand the food here, you’re a savior, I’m inspired to eat again.

      38. 5 stars
        Hello,

        I want to mention that I truly admire that side by side with each step of the recipe you post tips on how to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Way to go!

          1. 5 stars
            So I did make this recipe and added crab and cod to it. It gave the borscht a different flavor, not so umami. I enjoyed it and would make it again when I’m in the mood for a seafood stew. I will mention that I was not able to find fresh beets in my supermarket. I went to 3 different markets so I settled for precooked refrigerated beets. I do not recommend precooked beets and to avoid it at all cost. Just make it another day when fresh beets are available. Thank you for your recipe. I will definitely keep it handy!

      39. I love borscht. I have to try adding carrots in my borscht. My recipe is from my mother-in-law and she uses just beets, water and a can of pork and beans. I use bone broth made from ham bone instead of just water. I find the soup has a richer taste than just water.

      40. 5 stars
        This sounds pretty close to how our family made it too (half Ukranian Auzzie here!) although if you don’t have fresh beetroot you can use a canned or jar version and add the vinegar it’s in as well. Works great! I’ve just made my stock and about to finish the soup off soon. Yes I use my pressure cooker as well especially to make broth/stock. I keep all my kitchen bones and veggies scraps the throw them all in the pot. This time I had a small pork hock and chicken wing tips too so threw the lot in. I made my own yogurt so will use that and husband grew dill which I washed and froze before we went on a month vacation in the outback. Didn’t want it all getting wasted. It’s fine for soup. So looking forward to this tonight. Very happy you reminded me of it 🙂

        1. Hi Sue! Thanks for sharing. I love your style of cooking and how you make/grow so much of what you eat! Hope you enjoy the borscht!

      41. 5 stars
        LOVE!!!!! Soooo good!!! Made it the first time and it came out tasting like my mom’s! And her borscht is legendary! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I made it with beef broth. I made it in the slow cooker over 12 hours on low. It was so rich and delicious. I applaud you!

      42. 5 stars
        Your instructions are wonderful and clear. This is very similar to the borscht my Baba taught me to make. (All her recipes were in her head, none written down). Just a few slight differences, we slowly cooked down the cabbage in butter/margarine until it was soft, then added it to the soup. And she liked to add a can of pork and beans, too. She would use whatever was fresh out of the garden, peas, green beans, potatoes, the dill…and we never had meat in it, either. Plus, we always used whipping cream or half’n’half cream – never sour cream. ( I wish there was someone in my family to ask why about this, as I have discovered sour cream is commonly used). We too, said ,cheap as borscht, but sadly, borscht is no longer cheap to make, food has gotten so expensive, and no garden!
        Also love your Avocado Egg Salad recipe, thank you.

      43. 5 stars
        I have made a lot of borscht over the years and this is by far the best recipe I have ever tasted. Thank you for sharing!

      44. 5 stars
        Being a Ukrainian I too make borcht every winter. I love it. I have learned to make some Ukrainian dishes, but they will never be as good as my mother’s. Thank you

        1. In step 3!

          1. In a large pot (I use 6 quart Dutch oven), add broth, bay leaves and bring to a boil.
          2, In the meanwhile, wash, peel and cut vegetables.
          3. Once broth is boiling, add cabbage, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

          Hope that helps!

      45. 5 stars
        Wonderful and authentic recipe. My father was born in Ukraine and my mother in Poland. Myself and husband have been to the “Old Countries” 2 times. Both meatless and with meat are common. My family prefers borscht with meat. Traditionally, it is meatless is served on Christmas Eve as most Ukr Cdns are aware. And yes Vancouver Island is truly magical and beautiful. Marianna from Van Island

      46. 5 stars
        Such layered flavors and so fresh.
        It also feels like love in a bowl.
        My first attempt and you made me look good, Olena.
        Thank you again for yet another killer recipe!

      47. 5 stars
        Lots of different flavors in this soup. One of the recipes I can eat beets in?…I substituted parsley for Dill because that’s what I had, hope I didn’t defeat the flavor as of Dill. This soup is really good! Thank you I love all the flavors you bring out in your recipes!!

      48. 5 stars
        Do you bring your Dutch oven to boiling on heat? I just want to know if it’s safe cause I read somewhere not to put it on high. Otherwise it was taking a long time to bring to boil.??… To thank you for all your help!

      49. 5 stars
        Can I use water instead of the broth? Will it be a lot less flavorful? I do have bouillon cubes. Thank you

        1. Hi Stephanie. I make water based borscht more often than not because it’s easy. In this case, I make sure to add a can of low sodium beans to up the protein, a bit more olive oil and maybe an organic bouillon cube, if I have it.

      50. 5 stars
        I made this tonight at the request of my boyfriend’s son who was adopted from Russia. He wanted a traditional Russian meal and requested Borscht. This recipe was delicious! I will definitely make this again. I don’t have a lot of experience with Russian food, so this was really great to try. I can’t wait to make more of your recipes!

      51. 5 stars
        I’m from Odessa, Ukraine and I have to say this is totally authentic. Raw garlic in the end and rye bread mmm. Yes, I make it vegetarian all the time. I also add crushed clove of garlic to my plate, great especially for strengthening immune system.

      52. 5 stars
        Hello Olena, BORSHT!!!! YUM!!! Enough said .Please keep posting your Ukrainian recipes. I am a 3rd generation Ukrainian American and I cook all of my babsia and Ukrainian mother in law’s foods. But as you may know, Ukrainians LOVE to compare and try variations…I worked on my Easter Paska recipe for almost 40 years lol. Love your food!

      53. 5 stars
        My wife’s parents migrated from the Ukraine. We have both bey and beef borscht. I prefer the Beet. Our children all make borscht so the tradition carry’s on. Also love perogies homemade sausage and cabbage rolls

      54. 5 stars
        I add additional tomato paste Kirkland Organic Tomato paste, apple cider vinegar 3 table spoons. I used the the red kidney beans. Love the recipe.

      55. 5 stars
        Thanks! Reminds me of when I was a little girl. There was nothing better for me since it was PINK!! The colour of vegetable borscht was so impressive, never mind the expression “cheap like Borscht.” Its divine, I remember the fresh beet leaves and garden peas added to it. Wish I had some in my freezer! Good memories!

        1. Oh, I totally forgot about “cheap like borscht”. So true! Our beets never came with leaves unless they were fresh in late summer. But so interesting grandma never used them in borscht. Such a nutrition powerhouse. I truly suspect they didn’t know because no Google. Honestly, what we know now is amazing! Glad I brought you such sweet memories, Lisa. They are the best! We also had only fresh peas in season that we gobbled up. It was considered “a waste” to add anything fresh like peas to borscht – just eat it lol. It’s like baking berries – only when they are to go bad. Man, we had “nothing”, really. Now I have my own memories going on for me. So grateful for this amazing life in Canada we have now, really!

          1. 5 stars
            Imagine the decadence of garnishing the borscht with whip cream 35% instead of sour cream! Maybe that was my grandma’s way of defying the “old country”… and of course with thickly buttered white bread! Loved it! I also appreciated the days on which I could eat the peas straight from the pod! Nothing better! Loving our abundance and peace in Canada!

            1. Yum! Whip cream was a very special treat as well haha. Sour cream was more readily available. Yes, my grandma too loved white bread with butter. We often sprinkled it with sugar and it was dessert. Have a great night!

      56. 5 stars
        Thank you for sharing this heirloom recipe. It was our dinner yesterday night and this recipe is definitely a keeper. I was familiar with the (only) red beet borscht, but as I do not love beets on their own it was not on my rotation. On the other hand your recipe with cabbage, potatoes and carrots is simply delicious. I’ve actually forgotten the tomatoes…no wonder my soup was a bit pale, but next time I’ll be more prepared.

      57. We have some neighbors who recently returned from a church mission in South Eastern Russia and they mentioned meat was expensive. Once in a while the people used horse meat.

        1. That is true. We never ate a lot of meat – we couldn’t afford it. I remember mom making me sandwiches with horse salami. Not sure about the story behind why horse meat is cheaper or how do people get it. You basically eat any meat you can get your hands on, no cats and dogs of course.:) If you kill a chicken you eat everything including baby eggs inside, feet and all insides. Very tasty btw.

      58. I love Borscht! When I clicked to this page and saw the first photo I exclaimed out loud: “Oh, my! What a beautiful soup!” I have used a recipe in the past that called for shredded beef but I am anxious to try this Real Ukrainian Borscht! I have printed several of your soup recipes now to try. Thank you! Hopefully I can curb my ‘sugar tooth’ once again like I did several years ago. I know it can be done.

        1. Hi Laurene. Yes, I love soups!!! My SIL uses shredded beets and she is from Russia. Oh, you said shredded beef. That is different. You can boil good beef bones and shred some meat off of them. We did that. Usually there wasn’t much meat to shred though, it was only bones – no money for meat.

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