Soups/Salads/Sandwiches

Ukrainian Borscht Soup (Beet Soup)

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Borscht soup (Beet soup) is a secret soup I’ve been hiding from my fans on Facebook for two weeks.

A filling Ukrainian Borscht Soup includes fresh beets, cabbage, red peppers, carrots, potatoes, beautiful spices and chunks of grass-fed beef.

Beet soup can be served hot or cold and topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

I’ve only heard of Borscht soup from Mary, an incredible fan of Canadian Budget Binder.

My Grandma P. could create a feast with a few item from the garden and there was always homemade borscht to warm the tummy.

Mary Campbell

Sadly she passed away in August 2021, and I knew I had to get this Borscht soup recipe created.

The CBB community who knew Mary misses her dearly as she was a fond voice among them.

She talked about her passion for the Ukraine Borscht soup and recipes she wanted to try.

Ukrainian Style Borscht Soup For Mary
Ukrainian Style Borscht Soup For Mary

Beet Soup Names Can Vary

Borscht soup is spelled in various ways such as Borsch, Borsht or Bortsch and is popular in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

Over the past few months, I’ve read lots of Borscht recipes that I’ve found on the internet.

Doing so has helped me create my version of a beet soup of Ukrainian origin.

So, Mary, wherever you are, I hope you’re proud that I finally jumped on the Borscht wagon.

Although I’m not professing my recipe is original or classic, there are many traditional recipes.

I hope you love my version as much as I do, and I would love to hear your stories about Borscht.

What Are Beets?

Mr. CBB's First Crop Of Organic Beets
Mr. CBB’s First Crop Of Organic Beets

Beets are naturally sweet, red, and comparable to a potato texture when you cut them open.

Beets have been cultivated since pre-historic times in the Mediterranean area and were originally grown only for their leaves.

During the Roman empire, people began to eat the roots as well. Today, beets and beet dishes are still widely popular throughout Europe. – Foodland Ontario

What Is Beet Soup?

Freshly picked organic beets and beet greens from the garden 2022
Freshly picked organic beets and beet greens from the garden 2022

Borscht soup, also called beet soup, is made of red beets of Ukrainian origin.

According to Wikipedia, Borscht soup is associated with national cuisine in various countries.

  • Ukrainian
  • Armenian,
  • Ashkenazi
  • Jewish
  • Azerbaijani
  • Belarusian
  • Chinese
  • Estonian
  • Georgian
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Mennonite
  • Moldovan
  • Polish
  • Romanian
  • Russian

Vegetables Used In Borscht Soup

Root Vegetables Used In A Ukrainian Borscht soup.
Root Vegetables Used In A Ukrainian Borscht soup.

The Ukraine version is a filling recipe with root vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, carrots, parsnip, onions and garlic.

Root vegetables are those that are grown underground and used in many recipes around the world.

You can also find roots in Poland and Russia, although Ukraine is where it all begins.

Although borscht is important in Russian and Polish cuisines, Ukraine is frequently cited as its place of origin.

Its name is thought to be derived from the Slavic word for the cow parsnip, or common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), or from a fermented beverage derived from that plant.

The more-palatable cultivated beet eventually replaced the wild cow parsnip as the basis of the soup.

Britannica

How Do You Eat Borscht?

Cold Borscht Soup without Beef
Cold Borscht Soup without Beef

The cool part about beet soup is that you can eat it hot or cold with various ingredients.

I had never tried a chilled soup recipe before and was hesitant about making Borscht.

During the cold winters in Canada, you can eat a delicious beet soup piping hot with a dollop of sour cream.

I didn’t try blending the borscht soup to create a smoothie-type drink which is another way to serve it.

What does Borscht Soup Taste Like?

What does Borscht Soup Taste Like?
What does Borscht Soup Taste Like?

The soup is a vibrant red with a sour taste and a slight sweetness from the beets.

From all of the recipes I’ve read, I wanted to make an easy Borscht recipe without complicating it.

Of all the recipes, I’ve learned that we can eat Borscht soup in three ways.

  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian

I tried the beef version of beet soup and the vegetarian Borscht soup for today’s recipe.

I also used pickled beet juice in the soup to add to the sweet and sour part of what makes up a Borscht soup.

If you don’t have homemade pickled beets, you can use another acid such as vinegar or lemon juice.

Another optional item is white beans which add to the heartiness of a beet soup.

Is Borscht Soup Healthy?

Homemade beef bone broth for Borscht soup.
Borscht Soup Ingredients Vegetarian

Borscht soup will be high in carbs; however, it’s full of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, red pepper, onions and cabbage.

Beets are inexpensive during the Autumn season around October and are available in grocery stores.

You can typically find a five or ten-pound bag at the grocery store for $3.99 to $8.99, sometimes less.

I created the broth from the sauteed grass-fed beef and onions and added two beef bouillon cubes.

I went with fresh chives, mustard seed, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper for the broth.

To make a vegetarian Borscht opt for a vegetable broth made from vegetable peelings.

I store a bag of vegetable peelings in the freezer to use when I create any soup broth.

Borscht Soup Variations

Borscht Soup made with beef or vegetarian
Borscht Soup made with beef.

For the past two years, we’ve bought a plot at a local community garden so we could grow vegetables.

I didn’t go overboard planting too much; however, beets were on the top of my list.

I recently planted a massive crop of delicious organic red beets to make pickled beets.

Back in the UK, my mom would pickle certain vegetables in the pantry to keep food costs low.

My pickled beet recipe has had rave reviews from family and friends in Ontario, which was humbling.

Pickled Beets, Pickles and pickled onions
Pickled Beets, Pickles and pickled onions

How To Make Borscht Soup Ukrainian Style

Printable Recipe Below

Below I’ve added options for the vegetarian version and the beef Borscht soup.

If your family likes the beef Borscht, you can add it to the soup or serve it on the side.

Serving it on the side allows a vegetarian option for those who don’t eat meat.

Easy Beet Soup with beef and cabbage
Ukrainian Borscht Soup With Grass-fed Beef

Ingredients To Make Borscht Soup

Hot Ukrainian Borscht Soup topped with sour cream and chopped chives.
Hot Bowl of fresh Borscht Soup with Grass-Fed Beef, sour cream and chives

Makes 6-8 servings

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for three months.

  • 1 pound of grass-fed beef chunks (omit if making vegetarian Borscht or put beef on the side)
  • Clove of garlic minced
  • 3 medium size beets were washed and peeled
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 beef Bouillon cubes or vegetable cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large potatoes were washed, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 2 carrots were cleaned, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup red or white sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons homemade beet juice or 2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups of beef broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian Borscht)
  • Fresh Chives chopped into the broth (optional)
  • Sour Cream for topping the soup before serving with chives (optional)
grass-fed beef fried in butter with onions and garlic
Medium rare grass-fed beef chunks

How To Prepare Borscht Soup

  • In a medium to large pot add 8 cups of water, bouillon cubes, bay leaf, ginger, salt, pepper and chives and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, then add two tablespoons of pickled beet juice, vinegar or lemon juice
  • Add two tablespoons of tomato paste, then stir the broth
  • Using a large frying pan, add the butter or extra-virgin olive oil, mustard seeds, minced garlic, red chilli peppers, and onions, then saute for 2 mins on medium heat.
  • Wearing gloves, peel and cube or slice the beets, then add to the frying pan
  • Add the beef chunks to the beets and fry them until they are medium rare.
  • I sauteed the beets for a couple of minutes to finish the cooking process. (you can always boil them ahead of time)
  • Once the beef is cooked, set them into a bowl or straight into the broth. Add the beef drippings into the pot to boost the broth flavour.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the broth
  • Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes
  • Clean and slice one red bell pepper
  • Wash and peel two carrots, then slice thin
  • Shred 4 cups of green cabbage
  • Add the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and potatoes to the pot
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce and cover it slightly.
  • Let cook for one hour on medium-high heat or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Serve in a bowl hot with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt topped with dill, parsley or chives.
  • Let cool, then refrigerate to chill the Borscht for a cold soup.
Yield: 8

Borscht Soup Ukrainian

easy beet soup

A filling Ukrainian Borscht Soup includes fresh beets, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, wonderful spices and chunks of grass-fed beef. Borscht soup can be served hot or cold and topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of grass-fed beef chunks (omit if making vegetarian Borscht or put beef on the side)
  • 3 medium size beets were washed and peeled
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt and Pepper
  • 2 beef Bouillon cubes or vegetable cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large potatoes were washed, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 2 carrots were cleaned, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup red or white sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons homemade beet juice or 2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups of beef broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian Borscht)
  • Fresh Chives chopped into the broth (optional)
  • Sour Cream for topping the soup before serving with chives (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium to large pot add 8 cups of water, bouillon
    cubes, bay leaf, ginger, salt, pepper and chives and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, then add two tablespoons of
    pickled beet juice, vinegar or lemon juice
  3. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste, then stir the
    broth
  4. Wearing gloves, peel and cube or slice the beets
  5. Using a large frying pan, add the butter or
    extra-virgin olive oil, mustard seeds, minced garlic, red chilli peppers, and
    onions, then sauté for 2 mins on medium heat.
  6. Wearing gloves, peel and cube or slice the beets then add to the frying pan
  7. Add the beef chunks and fry them until they are medium
    rare.
  8. I sauteed the beets for a couple of minutes to get the cooking process going. (you can always boil them ahead of time)
  9. Once the beef is cooked, set them into a bowl or
    straight into the broth with the beets.
  10. Add the beef drippings into the pot to boost the broth
    flavour.
  11. Remove the bay leaf from the broth
  12. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes
  13. Clean and slice one red bell pepper
  14. Wash and peel two carrots, then slice thin
  15. Shred 4 cups of green cabbage
  16. Add the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, potatoes, to the pot
  17. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce and cover it
    slightly.
  18. Let cook for one hour on medium-high heat or until the
    vegetables are tender
  19. Serve in a bowl hot with a dollop of sour cream or
    yogurt topped with dill, parsley or chives
  20. Let cool, then refrigerate to chill the Borscht for a
    cold soup.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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