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Ukrainian Borscht

Ukrainian Borscht

What does Borscht mean?

Borscht definition: a beet-based soup that can be combined with whatever else you’ve got growing in your garden to create a hearty, healthy meal that also stretches your food budget and weekly meals just a little bit further.

If you don't know what Borscht is, then you're in for a real treat! 

This wonderfully colored soup is a must-have for any home or homestead, whether you're Ukrainian or not! Healthy and hearty, a bowl of Borscht makes the best of the Fall harvested beets, filling your home and your belly with a delicious and warm dish that you will want to go back to, time after time!

A heaping bowl of super frugal super-food!

Borscht is a frugal dish by excellence, making use of once ubiquitous ingredients in Eastern European pantries during the long, cold winters. Cabbage, potatoes, beets, carrots and wheat were once daily staples and are still fairly cheap to buy fresh today : or even better, grow yourself! 

Apart from its succulent taste and striking color, borscht is also one of the healthiest dishes I prepare on a regular basis.

It's packed with protein (from the broth and optional meat), iron (from the beets), vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6 (from the carrots) plus fiber and vitamin K & C (from the cabbage).

I always feel great about serving this Borscht recipe to my family! 


  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage (I often use red cabbage, but any cabbage will do)
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated or pressed
  • 1 tbsp of butter for sautéing onions and celery
  • 8 cups water beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (homemade or commercially)
  • 2 or 3 medium to large sized peeled beets half grated and half diced
  • 1 or 2 medium carrots grated
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh dill leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional but highly recommended : beet greens, shredded or ground pork and/or pork sausage 



In a large pot, sauté the onions, celery and cabbage with the butter until soft and translucent. 

Add the can of diced tomatoes and the garlic, as well as all of the water or broth.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer.

Peel the beets, carrots and potato. Dice half the beets and grate the other half.
Grate all the carrots. Dice the potato. The hardest part of this recipe is all the grating! It's time consuming if done by hand, but you can also use a food processor. All that matters is that the vegetables are finely chopped.

After all the grating and chopping is done, add the beets, carrots and potato to the broth. If you would like to add any other optional vegetables (ie. beans, peas, beet greens, etc.) do so now. This soup is a wonderful "refrigerator cleaner", so use up whatever you have on hand.

Allow soup to simmer on medium until the diced beets and potatoes are soft, about 15-25 minutes. Remove soup from heat.

Stir in chopped fresh dill leaves and salt and black pepper.

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread and butter!
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