Borscht Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide to Making Ukranian Beet Soup

Updated on January 16, 2020
Shushanik profile image

Shushanik enjoys sharing recipes of dishes from her home country. She also likes discovering new dishes and sharing them with her readers.

Coming from Ukraine, borscht is one of the soups I grew up with and one of the things I miss the most. Every Russian or Ukrainian woman knows her own special borscht recipe. For many, borscht is something exotic—but once you try it, you can't forget it.

Here is a recipe for borscht I cook from time to time. Traditionally, borscht is served with pampushky, or sweet bread that resembles brioche rolls, garnished with garlic. I have included a link to my pampushky recipe at the end of this article.

Please rate this recipe

4.1 stars from 7 ratings of Borscht

What Is Borscht?

Borscht is a traditional soup in Eastern and Central Europe, a national dish of several countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Romania, Lithuania. It is characterized by deep red color due to the beets.

There are many different borscht recipes that contain the same ingredients, only the order of cooking and adding each ingredient varies. This is my borscht recipe, the way I cook it and the way I like it the most. Try it, and you won't regret it.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: 6 servings


  • 1 pound of beef
  • 1/3 medium head of cabbage
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1-2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 beets, boiled or canned
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt
  • dill
  • parsley
  • 1-2 laurel leaves
  • sour cream
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  1. Put the beef into the pan and add cold water. Don't try to speed up the process by adding boiling water, which will result in a thin film that will change the taste. Slow cook the beef (with meat or meat bones) to make a broth, and add salt.
  2. When the meat is ready, remove it from the broth.
  3. Prepare the cabbage I usually don't slice it—instead, I cut it in squares; to do it, cut off the stem and start slicing the cabbage lengthwise, and then slice it crosswise to make quarter-rounds. Add sliced ​​potatoes and cabbage to the broth and cook.
  4. While the cabbage and potatoes are cooking, chop carrots, onions, and beets. To chop onions, first wet the blade of the knife in cold water to prevent you from "crying" while cutting the onion. Cut it in half, then slice each half lengthwise, not reaching the bottom, and then cut it crosswise.
  5. Fry carrot and onions in butter.
  6. Add beets and tomato paste to carrot and onions, stir everything, and leave to simmer on the low-medium heat until ready (watch so it doesn't burn).
  7. As soon as vegetables are done, add them to the broth with cooked cabbage and potato, stir, add sliced meat, dill, and parsley, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Add bay laurel leaves and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving (actually, the longer borscht sits, the better it becomes, I like it most of all the next day after it was cooked).
  9. Serve borscht with sour cream.

Borscht With Pampushky

If you want to have the experience of a truly Ukrainian meal, try my recipe for pampushky, which is a must-have addition to a borscht in Ukraine.


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    • Cynthia Hoover profile image

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      This looks great I am going to try it! I have never had or made Borscht but I am always looking to broaden my culinary horizons and I love sampling international dishes.

    • pocono foothills profile image

      John Fisher 

      6 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      Borscht is regular fare in my house, as my wife is from Russia. Never heard about the white vinegar trick that dinkan53 suggested.

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      8 years ago from Paris via California

      This looks great! I was at a dinner with a Russian woman last night and we were talking about the flourishing restaurant scene in St. Petersbourg, where there's a lot of fusion food but traditional Russian is holding strong and taking on a whole new degree of finesse. This certainly tempts me! Thanks

    • dinkan53 profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Great, I am a lover and regular user of borscht(???? - in Russian)I usually add some white vinegar, which is supposed to set the color of the beets. Thanks for sharing and rated as interesting.


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