Borsch (beetroot soup)
- 1kg/2¼lb beetroot
- 450g/1lb carrots
- 8 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
- 1 stick of celery, chopped roughly
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds
- enough stock to cover the vegetables with about half a pint left over
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Classic Ukrainian Borsch Recipe
Ingredients for Classic Ukrainian Borsch
2 large or 3 medium beets, thoroughly washed
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces
4 Tbsp of cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly chopped (see picture)
1 can kidney beans with their juice
2 bay leaves
10 cups water
6 cups chicken broth
5 Tbsp ketchup
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp chopped dill
How to Make Borsch
1. Fill a large soup pot with 10 cups of water. Add 2 – 3 beets. Cover and boil for about 1 hour (some beats take longer, some take less time. It depends on how old the beets are). Once you can smoothly pierce the beets with a butter knife, remove from the water and set aside to cool. Keep the water.
2. Slice 3 potatoes, add into the same water and boil 15-20 minutes.
3. Grate both carrots and dice one onion. Add 4 Tbsp of cooking oil to the skillet and saute vegetables until they are soft (7-10 minutes). Stir in ketchup when they are almost done cooking.
4. Meanwhile, thinly shred 1/2 a cabbage ( I use a Zyliss Mandoline) and add it to the soup pot when potatoes are half way done.
5. Next, peel and slice the beets into match sticks and add them back to the pot (I use my mandolin slicer). When you peel beets, use a plastic bag over your hands unless you want red fingers.
6. Add 6 cups of chicken broth, lemon juice, pepper, bay leaves and can of kidney beans (with their juice) to the pot.
7. Add sauteed carrots and onion to the pot along with chopped dill.
8. Cook another 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I usually don’t have to add any unless I use low sodium broth.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or real mayo.
Borsch is the famous soup in many Russian families, as well as many Eastern and Central European countries. The recipes of borsch vary, but vegetables (mainly beet) and sour cream are always the main ingredients. The beetroot used in cooking borsch gives the soup its trademark deep reddish-purple color.
4 qt. water
14 oz. beef stock
1 small head of cabbage
5 large potatoes
1 large carrot
1 med. beet root
1 med. onion
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3-5 cloves garlic
verdure (parsley, dill, etc.)
1. Boil the beef stock for at least 1.5 hours, strain the broth through clothing, seperate the meat from the bone and carve it.
2. Peel the raw beet root, cut it in thin two-inch strips and stew for half an hour.
3. Add cubed potatoes in the boiling broth. Add the stewed beet when the broth begins to boil again. Add bay leaf.
4. Cut the carrot the same way as the beet root, fry it all over and add into borsch.
5. Slice the onion, fry on both sides, add tomato paste. Mix everything and fry for some more time.
6. Take the fried onion off the stove and add mashed garlic.
7. Shred the cabbage finely and add (but not much) into borsch when the potato is almost cooked.
8. Cover the saucepan and boil borshch for 5 minutes. Then add fried onion with garlic and seasonings. Mix everything.
9. Cover borsch and cook for 3 more minutes. Then add cut verdure.
10. Take borsch off the stove and leave uncovered.
Tips for Cooking and Serving Borsch
1. Sour cream is served in a separate bowl or added into the plate with borsch right before serving it.
2. You may use veal or chicken instead of beef stock.
3. You may also grate beet root and carrots at steps 3 and 5 instead of cutting them in thin stripes.
Borscht is one of those soups that has dozens of variations. This version of the classic Russian beet soup uses lots of vegetables and a touch of bacon for extra flavor. You can leave the bacon out and use vegetable broth if you prefer a vegetarian soup. Grating the beets into the soup releases maximum beet flavor. Though this recipe calls for the borscht to be served hot, it is also delicious when served cold.
- 2 quarts beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced
- 2 parsnips, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 beets, peeled, grated
- 1/4 cup dill, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or as needed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Bring the broth to a simmer while you peel and prepare the vegetables. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat with the oil. Add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the marjoram.
- Add the celery, parsnips, carrot, leek, and cabbage. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 8 minutes
- Add the broth and the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes before grating the beets directly into the soup. Simmer, partially covered, until the soup is flavorful and the vegetables are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the dill. Add the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish the soup with sour cream and serve.
Authentic Ukrainian Classic Borsch
- 1 1⁄2 lbs red beets (green tops removed)
- 1 lb lean beef chuck (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 1⁄2 lb thick slab bacon (diced) or 1⁄2lb pancetta (diced)
- 1 cup yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 carrot (peeled & grated)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon celery salt or 1 teaspoon seeds
- 2 teaspoons dill seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 quarts water or 2 quarts beef broth
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large potato (peeled & diced)
- 6 cups green cabbage (shredded)
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
- 1 cup real sour cream
- 1⁄2 cup fresh dill (chopped)
- russian black bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the diced bacon or panchetta in a Dutch oven or stockpot and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, until the fat begins to render, about 3 minutes.
- Add the beef and continue to cook, stirring, until the beef is brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.
- Remove both meats from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Add the onions and carrot to the fat in the Dutch oven or stockpot and stir to coat.
- Cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano, dill seeds and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze the pot.
- Return both meats to the pot and add the water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, place the beets on a baking sheet and brush with the oil.
- Roast until tender and can be pierced easily with a fork or knife, about 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim the stem and root ends and remove the skins.
- Coarsely grate or chop and set aside.
- When the meat is tender and falling apart, add the beets, potatoes, cabbage, parsley, tomato paste and celery salt or seeds and simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes.
- Season with additional red wine vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar to taste.
- Ladle borsch into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of fresh dill.
- Also, serve with Russian black bread.