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Red Russian Borscht and a Basic “Beet Soup” Recipes

by Roger Keyserling

· recipes


Many recipes add kidney beans to their red borscht but I strongly dislike them, therefore, I leave them out. If you are a fan of kidney beans, add them to your soup recipe.


Be sure the potatoes are all cut into even pieces.

You can leave out the meat if you are looking for a vegetarian soup recipe.

Be sure to continue removing scum and fat that rises to the top until nothing from to the top.

Red Ukrainian Borscht tastes even better the following day when reheated. Make a large pot and enjoy all week long (keep refrigerated).


Russian Borscht Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 20 mins Russian Borscht recipe with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and beets. Seasoned meat gives the soup so much flavor and is an amazing addition to the traditional recipe. Servings: 10 - 12 servings


  •  1 lb pork
  •  Seasoning for the meat:
  •  1 ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper, 4 garlic cloves sliced, 4 bay leaves
  •  14 cups water
  •  5 cups water
  •  3 medium beets sliced
  •  4-5 large potatoes cut
  •  1/2 head of medium cabbage shredded
  •  4 Tbsp butter
  •  1 medium onion chopped
  •  2 carrots julienned or grated
  •  1 medium red pepper sliced
  •  2 medium tomatoes
  •  2 garlic cloves minced
  •  1 Tbsp vinegar
  •  2 Tbsp sugar
  •  2 Tbsp salt
  •  1/2 tsp pepper
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  3-5 Tbsp fresh parsley
  •  3-5 Tbsp fresh dill
  •  sour cream to serve with


  1. Cut your meat into bite-size pieces. Slice the garlic cloves. Break the bay leaves into smaller pieces. Season the meat. Combine everything. Refrigerate meat for at least 2 days.

  2. Clean and slice beets in half. Add beets and 5 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook 20-25 minutes, until beets pierce easily with a knife. Once cooked, remove them from water and setaside cool. KEEP WATER.

  3. In a large pot, bring 14 cups water to a boil.

  4. Rinse seasoning off of meat. Add the meat to the boiling water. Remove scum and fat that accumulates and floats to the top of the water. It’s very important to keep removing the scum frequently. Turn heat down to medium, cook meat about 35-40 minutes or until meat is soft.

  5. While meat is cooking, peel and slice or cube the potatoes. Add to a bowl and cover with cold water so they don’t turn color. Set aside.

  6. Shred the cabbage. Set aside.

  7. Chop the onion finely. Add to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter and saute 3 minutes on medium heat.

  8. While onion is cooking, grate carrots. (I like to julienne mine into thin short strips.)

  9. Add carrots to the skillet pan with another 2 Tbsp butter, mix. Cook about 5-6 minutes or until carrots are tender. (If the skillet begins to get dry, add a bit of oil.)

  10. Take the cooled beets and cut into thin strips. Add to the skillet with onion and carrots.

  11. Cube red pepper or cut into small thin strips add to skillet. Add minced garlic to skillet.

  12. Chop tomatoes and add to the skillet. Add the water leftover from cooking the beets to skillet with sauteed veggies. Turn heat down to med/low and cook about 5 minutes.

  13. Once meat is tender, add potatoes and cabbage. (If you like the cabbage a bit crunchier, add about 5 minutes after potatoes are added.) Cook 15 minutes.

  14. Transfer all of the ingredients from the skillet to the pot. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, parsley and dill. Cook another 8-10 minutes or until potatoes and cabbage are tender. Taste if additional seasonings need added.

  15. Add fresh herbs of choice and amount.

  16. Serve with sour cream

This is a genuine Russian beet and cabbage soup recipe, easy, delicious and heartwarming. Beef, cabbage, beets, potatoes, and no strange additions or "shortcuts" you find in many borscht soups today - Borscht is so popular, that it was even eaten by Soviet cosmonauts in space. Classic Russian Beet Borscht Recipe (Борщ)

Basic Recipe


basic beet borscht


  • 1 carrot chopped in half
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 celery chopped in half
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 medium onions chopped in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large beets pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. of tomato paste
  • 6 cups of soup stock
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar


  1. Grate carrot, celery and onions in food processor.

  2. Add vegetable oil in a 10” or 12" skillet pan and add the grated vegetables.

  3. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes until onions are clear and juices start mingling.

  4. Boil large pot of water. Add beets and cook until soft, approximately 20 minutes.

  5. Add stock to base mixture in skillet pan.

  6. Add seasoning (whole onion, garlic clove, bay leaves and peppers).

  7. Bring to a boil. Then back down to a simmer for 30 minutes.

  8. After beets are cooked, let cool. Peel skin.

  9. Cut beets in thin strands.

  10. Add beets to skillet pan.

  11. Add tomato paste and vinegar.

  12. Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.

  13. .Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.

It can be blended for a creamer type soup as well. Just add a bit of cream and blend.

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