How to Make An Authentic Borscht | Beet Soup Recipe

This is my grandmother’s version of the classic beet soup, so naturally it’s my favorite recipe for borscht. Easy and delicious and best served with a dollop of sour cream.

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soup season how to make borscht

What is Borscht?

Borsch is one of the most recognizable dishes of Eastern Europe, and everyone makes it slightly different and then swears their version is the most traditional borscht recipe.

I do the same.

My recipe comes from my grandmother and it’s her Russian version of borsch that I grew up eating.

Our simple borscht recipe is vegetarian, but Ukrainian or Polish borscht recipes often include beef.

how to make borscht authentic beet soup russian recipe

Ingredients for Borscht Recipe ( Vegetarian Beet Soup):

scroll down for the proportions and recipe

  • beets
  • yellow onion
  • garlic cloves
  • carrots
  • potato
  • cabbage
  • butter
  • bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste

Additional secret ingredients:

  • Vegeta or soup seasoning of your choice
  • ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • white vinegar
how to make russian beet soup borscht

Authentic Russian Borscht Recipe

This ruby red beet soup is an Eastern European staple and perfect vegetable soup for fall.


  • 3 medium beets, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 tbsp Vegeta ( or your favorite soup seasoning)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

To serve

  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • rye toasted with butter and


  • Peel and chop the garlic and the onion. Add butter to a large pot and sauté onion
    and garlic until onion is translucent. Add salt and pepper to the pot.
  • Peel and chop beets, potato and carrots. (For best tasting soup these veggies should
    be relatively the same size ). Add the additional veggies to the pot and stir together.
  • Once the veggies have cooked for about 5 minutes add 5-7 cups of water to the pot or chicken stock or vegetable stock. Continue to cook the soup for another 30 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add bay leaves, ketchup, and vinegar. Let the pot simmer for another
    half an hour on low heat.
  • Now, finely shred the cabbage and add to the pot. Also add the vegeta, and salt and
    pepper to taste. Let the pot simmer on low for another half hour or so.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and toasted buttered Russian rye and a sliver of garlic for the most authentic experience.

Other Tips for a More Authentic Borscht Recipe

  • My grandmother’s secret was to add ketchup to her vegetarian borscht. It didn’t only add flavor, but it also enhances that beautiful ruby red color associated with this beet soup.
  • To save time, buy cabbage that has already been shredded so you don’t have to shred by hand. A coleslaw mix can also work in a pinch.
  • Do not skip the addition of vinegar. This truly transforms the borsch, as it should be slightly tangy and sour. The addition of sour cream helps balance this.

What to Serve with Borscht Soup?

  • It’s a hearty and healthy soup, and if you eat it the right way it will become your favorite. Borscht is best served with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a well-buttered Russian rye and a clove of garlic to bite into with every spoonful of the soup.
  • Consider adding garlic to a crispy buttered toast to serve with borscht. A hearty pumpernickel or rye bread

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