After several requests for my borscht recipe, here it is. Ukrainian Borscht… everyone knows what it is and many people around the world have fallen in love with this iconic beet soup.

Red Borscht Recipe with Dollop of sour cream and dill

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I love the deep ruby color of this borsch! It’s so healthy and nutritious; packed with beans (protein), beets (iron), carrots (carotene), potatoes (vit C, potassium, Vit B6), oftentimes cabbage is added (vit K, vit C, fiber, etc…). It feels so good serving this to my family. 

Our Family’s Borscht Recipe (Beet Soup)

This is our family’s version of classic borsch and it’s one of the two soups my children absolutely love (Mom’s Meatball Soup being the second). Borscht is definitely on the regular rotation at our house!

This version keeps better because it is a meatless version but doesn’t lack in flavor because it uses good quality chicken broth.

Classic Borsch served with sour cream

Ingredients for Classic Ukrainian Borsch:

It’s best to have all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go which makes this soup super easy and care free. Start by peeling, grating, chopping, slicing and dicing all of the vegetables for borscht.

Once your potatoes are peeled and sliced, transfer them to a bowl of cold water to keep them from discoloring until ready for use.

Ingredients for Beet Soup Borscht including beets, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, beans

Note on Using Cabbage:

We used to add cabbage but our children prefer it without so for years now we’ve been making it just like this without cabbage. If you prefer cabbage, add 1/4 to 1/2 small head of cabbage, thinly shredded, adding it when the potatoes are halfway cooked.

How to Peel and Cut Beets:

  • Use gloves when handling beets or your fingertips will stain red for a couple of days.
  • To peel beets, use a simple potato peeler like this one.
  • You can slice the beets into matchsticks but it is way way easier to grate and children don’t mind the texture of grated beets. We love our food processor for this task as it grates more coarsely than on a hand grater so the beets still have some texture. It also keeps the counter and your hands clean (beat juice can be a pain to get out of clothing and porous surfaces).

How to Remove Beet Stains:

When you eat borscht often, you learn quickly to pace a napkin in your lap and bibs on children. If you do get beet juice on your clothes, address the stain right away.

  1. Use a paper-towel to blot off any excess juice.
  2. Run cold water over the opposite/under side of the fabric to push the stain out.
  3. If the stain persists, apply a stain removing agent (I have found that dish soap works well in a pinch) and launder clothing as usual.

How to Make Borscht

Watch Natasha Make Classic Borscht:


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Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Classic Borscht Recipe (Beet Soup)

4.95 from 753 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Our family's go-to recipe for Borscht (Red Beet Soup). It's best to have all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go which makes this soon super easy and care free. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or real mayo.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10

For Borscht:

  • 3 medium beets, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 cups chicken broth , + 2 cups water
  • 3 medium yukon potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

For Zazharka (Mirepoix):

  • 2 celery ribs, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped, optional
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup or 3 Tbsp tomato sauce

Additional Flavorings:

  • 1 can white cannelini beans with their juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 3 Tbsp chopped dill

Instructions

  • Peel, grate and/or slice all vegetables (keeping sliced potatoes in cold water to prevent browning until ready to use then drain).
  • Heat a large soup pot (5 1/2 Qt or larger) over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated beets and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beets are softened. 
  • Add 8 cups broth and 2 cups water. Add sliced potatoes and sliced carrots then cook for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Saute stirring occasionally until softened and lightly golden (7-8 minutes). Add 4 Tbsp Ketchup and stir fry 30 seconds then transfer to the soup pot to continue cooking with the potatoes.
  • When potatoes and carrots reach desired softness, add 1 can of beans with their juice, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 3 Tbsp chopped dill. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes and add more salt and vinegar to taste.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Borsch, Borscht
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

So, which camp are you in? Do you love that dollop of sour cream at the end or the flavor that real mayo adds to borscht?

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Brian Smerch
    April 18, 2024

    I prefer matchstick beets and I always add whipping cream instead of sour cream. I’m Ukrainian and this is how my Mom used to make it. She also used sour salt and pork ribs in the stock. Love your recipes and videos!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 18, 2024

      Hi Brian! Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes and videos.

      Reply

  • Cal
    April 14, 2024

    I just made your recipe and followed it to a T – it’s excellent! I don’t eat meat, so I added the beans. This is my new favorite Borscht recipe so thank you very much for it Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 14, 2024

      Sounds great and thank you for sharing! So happy to know that you loved our Classic Borscht recipe!

      Reply

  • Gerard Vande Logt
    April 12, 2024

    Natasha, this is a fantastic borscht recipe. This will be my go-to from here on out. Although I’m 85 years old so how long that will that be? I do not peel beets, potatoes or carrots as the Skins have a high level of nutrients and properly cooked are quite delectable. Just give them a good scrubbing. Also I included in the borscht the beet greens and stems. You might try that instead of cabbage. This recipe makes it a definite requirement to grow beets in my garden.

    Reply

  • Carolyn
    April 7, 2024

    Really good! I will be using this recipe again. This made so much that I will be freezing some. Perfect for lazy no coming days! Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

  • Kate
    April 5, 2024

    We absolutely love this recipe ❤️. Thank you! I am guilty of a few shortcuts. I can’t always find decent fresh beets, so I use canned shredded beets. I bake one large (huge) potato, let it cool slightly, then cut it up (with the skin–I scrub it well) and put it in. I steam cauliflower, which kind of mashes in and replaces some of the potato. Otherwise, I follow the recipe. I have multiple sclerosis and have trouble chopping, and any shortcuts are welcome. I often use my immersion blender just for a moment to thicken the broth. Thank you for the best recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 5, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Kate!

      Reply

  • Lee
    April 4, 2024

    Just digging in to a bowlful now and it is so very good.
    I get tired of being the cook sometimes and bring home a supermarket rotisserie chicken then I freeze the carcass. Stressful life lately and so the freezer was getting crowded. Made your soup to kick start my energy and made the stock from 3 frozen carcasses. I used that stock with your recipe.
    Lazy AND delicious. Who knew? Thanks for the help.

    Reply

  • Orest
    March 30, 2024

    I’m Ukrainian and I must say that this is a very good recipe. I don’t think it needs the beans though, but other than that, very, very good. Next time I’ll make it without the beans.

    Reply

  • Kristin Park
    March 20, 2024

    This was definitely a hit at my house. Thank you! I worked in Poland for a few months and often visit the various Eastern European bakeries in Chicago. So thrilled to finally have a go-to recipe I can use at home.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 20, 2024

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you found this recipe!

      Reply

  • Sally Palmer
    March 13, 2024

    So delicious and healthy!!!! Thank you! I like to make things the traditional way first before I add my own ideas, but THIS needs no change at all!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 13, 2024

      Great to hear that you enjoyed our Classic Borscht recipe!

      Reply

  • Madalina
    March 8, 2024

    Russian Borscht is delicious and very healthy. Nice recipes.

    Reply

  • Kim
    February 28, 2024

    Natasha, is the best! Easy to follow and she works on the recipe not a bunch of other stuff. Her food is clean and wholesome. Thank you for your videos!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 28, 2024

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying my blog recipes and videos, Kim! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Jeffery Hamm
    February 22, 2024

    Hi! I love how this sounds, looking forward to making it. I don’t see any questions or comments about packaged beets… Not recommended?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 22, 2024

      Hi Jeffery. I recommend using fresh, using canned beets makes the borscht slightly sweet.

      Reply

  • Jay
    February 21, 2024

    Really like your version! I’m adding some vegetarian sausage for extra protein and a little smoky flavor. It’s so good I’m scaling this up for 300 – our church is having its annual Ukrainian Relief dinner this April. It will be a big hit!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 21, 2024

      Hi Jay! I’m glad you are enjoying this recipe. I think it’s a great option for your event.

      Reply

  • Joe Petrany
    February 13, 2024

    Natsha:
    Onions don’t overly bother me while slicing. Tilt your head to the side to avoid their fumes or, try a pair of swim goggles! Cheap, and they’ll keep the fumes from getting near your eyes……..the ones with a good rubber or silicone seal, would likely do the job. I’ll be tesing this theory soon…..

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 13, 2024

      Thanks for the tip, Joe!

      Reply

  • Michele
    January 30, 2024

    I made your recipe for Ukrainian Christmas instead of my grandmother’s recipe because I intrigued with the methods and ingredients you used compared to her recipe. My family and I really enjoyed your version and we agreed it was different than what I was used to, but I like the flavor better. I used vegetable broth concentrate to keep it vegetarian for Christmas.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 30, 2024

      Hi Michele, thanks for giving my recipe a try! Good to know that you also enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Dima
    January 29, 2024

    IT’S NOT PORK!! IT’S BEEF. Everything else is perfect! Thank you 🙂

    Reply

  • Nicole
    January 21, 2024

    Hi. Looks delicious. My husband traveled regularly for years to Russia and enjoyed the foods immensely. We are looking forward to trying your version of Borscht today on a raining, lazy Sunday.
    ONION CUTTING TIP: I was told years ago (don’t remember who) that if you breathe through your mouth and not your nose while cutting onions, your sinuses will not be effected and you can avoid the “eye burn”. Low and behold, IT WORKS! Makes sense, really. Although I feel a bit silly, I don’t cry anymore when I cut onions breathing through my mouth. Breathe through your mouth as you clean the board and area of onions, too.

    Reply

    • Joe Petrany
      February 13, 2024

      Natsha:
      Onions don’t overly bother me while slicing. Tilt your head to the side to avoid their fumes or, try a pair of swim goggles! Cheap, and they’ll keep the fumes from getting near your eyes……..the ones with a good rubber or silicone seal, would likely do the job. I’ll be tesing this theory soon….. Maybe I’m an un-diagnosed mouth breather?; as I see in other comments…. 😉

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        February 13, 2024

        That’s a great idea, Joe!

        Reply

  • Mallory Thomas
    January 12, 2024

    Hello, this recipe is amazing. I’ve made it every week for the last 3 weeks, love it.
    I copied the ingredients and watched the video every time when making.
    I noticed the recipe called for 8 cups of chicken broth + 2 cups of water. In the video you used 4 cups of broth & 8 cups of water. I made it with 8 cups of broth, it’s delicious.
    Also, I added more garlic than called for, increases the taste.
    Tip for cutting onions, place a wet paper towel next to where you’re cutting the onions, it does help.
    Thanks for the recipes, it’s now my favorite food.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 12, 2024

      Hi Mallory, we updated the recipe later (after making the video) for a richer tasting broth. Unfortunately it isn’t really possible to make a change in a video. The recipe card is accurate. Thank you for the onion tip! That’s a great idea. I haven’t heard that before.

      Reply

  • PJ S.
    January 7, 2024

    Just made this recipe with fresh beets I got from the farmers market! So good! Will be saving to make again. 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 8, 2024

      Nice to know that you loved it!

      Reply

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