Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am no authority on Borscht, don't have Russian or Ukraine ancestry, have never seen it being made, in fact, I've never even eaten the soup except when I've made it. I did once see a co-worker eating it for lunch in the breakroom, but that is as close as I have gotten to it, other than my own. But we love beets and I find making soup very soothing and comforting when the weather is bad like it was when I made this one. We had three straight days of rain from the storm named Ida, and it was very gloomy.

I believe the real deal Borscht should be started with beef bones but I find that a little disconcerting, so I use already butchered stew beef. Roasting the beets and carrots, before adding to the soup makes them incredibly sweet.

If anyone has any advice or tips for making this soup more authentic, I welcome your comments.

1 lb. beef stew meat in bite size pieces
1 - 1 1/2 quarts beef broth
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 - 4 plump cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
4 large beets
4 carrots
1 small head cabbage, sliced
16 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped, fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking
Sour cream for garnish

Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot, then sear and brown the beef cubes on all sides very well. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil if needed and cook the onions until they are beginning to turn golden, stirring often. Add the celery, garlic, and potatoes, cooking and stirring a few more minutes. Add 1 quart beef broth, cover and simmer until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, roast the beets and carrots. Scrub the beets well with a vetable brush. Peel the carrots. Make 2 foil packets, add the vegetables, separately to each, drizzle with a little olive oil, then salt and pepper, to taste. Seal the packets, place them on a sheet pan, then into a 400 degree over for about an hour.

Slice the cabbage and add to the pot along with the tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Peel and slice the beets, slice the carrots, and add them in. Add more beef broth if needed. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stir in the dill, and serve with a dollop of sour cream.


  1. You can use any meat or poultry stock or cheap meat cuts like, pork neck or veal breast with, except maybe for lamb or goat. Also instead of roasting your beets and carrots chop them up and fry them in the pan. It's quicker and more authentic.
    And to further enhance your enjoyment of borscht pair it up with some straight cold vodka and pickled herring, especially during the cold winter nights.

  2. Thank you so much for your tips, I truly appreciate it!