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Borscht Recipe (Russian-Style Beet Soup) in White Bowl

Borscht (Russian-Style Beet Soup)

The flavor of this Borscht Recipe (Russian-Style Beet Soup) is bright and complex, beautifully sweet and sour. The natural sweetness from beets and carrots balance a splash of red wine vinegar added at the end. Beef makes it hearty and filling, and potato and hint of tomato paste add depth and thicken the broth slightly.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Russian, Ukrainian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 293kcal


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or light olive oil)
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups low-sodium beef broth divided
  • 1 3/4 pounds beets (roots only; use the greens for something else), scrubbed and trimmed
  • 4 medium carrots finely chopped
  • 3 large celery ribs diced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large starchy potato such as Russet, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1/2 pound Savoy cabbage thinly sliced into shreds (about 5 cups shredded)
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt use a bit less if using fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar; more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish if desired
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-high heat; once hot, add the meat in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes, flipping once. (You might need to do this in 2 batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.)
  • Add the bay leaf and 4 cups (.95 L) beef broth, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn heat down to simmer, and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • While the beef cooks, chop all the vegetables. For the beets, shred ⅓ of the beets and finely chop the remaining ⅔. Add the finely chopped beet to the pot; bring back up to a boil, then cover the pot and cook 10 minutes.
  • Add the shredded beet, carrot, celery, onion, potato, cabbage, garlic, salt, black pepper, allspice, tomato paste, and remaining 4 cups beef broth. (The vegetables should be just covered with liquid; you can add water if you need more liquid to cover them.) Cover the pot and bring it back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, then turn off the heat and stir in the dill. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into bowls; top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.


  • For the vegetables for this recipe, I use organic beets, carrots, and potato, and give them a good scrub before using. I don’t peel them because the skin holds a lot of nutrition. (Beets Tip: Look for smaller beets since their skin is more tender.) The potato sort-of melts right into the soup so you will be left with little bits of potato skin, which I didn’t mind at all; however, if you prefer, you can peel the potato.
  • For the paleo version of this soup, omit the sour cream when serving. Some people consider potato paleo, and some don't; do what's best for you.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1037mg | Potassium: 1822mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 7498IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 5mg