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Recipe: Borscht


Published on

recipe borcht
You can enjoy this borscht recipe hot or cold.

Beet soup can be served hot or chilled. It’s especially good served hot in cold weather, but serve this soup however you’d like!

Type of dish: Side Dish, Soup
Equipment: Soup pot, optional blender or immersion blender
Servings: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped large
  • 1 TB fat of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped beets, 1 inch cubes (about 3 beets , but depends on the size of the beets)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled carrots, cut into 1 inch slices (or substitute celery root or parsnips)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups beef stock or bone broth
  • juice of 1 lemon or 1 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh chives or dill for garnish


  1. Heat the fat, onions, and garlic in the pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they are softened.
  2. Add the bay leaf, beets, carrots, and stock. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover the pot and let cook at a low simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the beets are soft enough to be easily pierced with a knife.
  4. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the lemon juice or red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.
  5. You can serve without pureeing if preferred. Or, use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or even just puree halfway for a different texture.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs. If you have dairy in your current meal plan, this soup is often topped with sour cream.


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Chris Kresser in kitchen
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Join the conversation

  1. I used to drink beet juice almost every day when I was training harder than I do now. I never had my urine discolored except after a 15 mile race where I’m pretty sure I was a little dehydrated.

    Blood red feces is common every time I eat (or drink) beet roots.

  2. Well, I ate a half pound of liver yesterday cooked in bacon grease. Along with it I ate two raw beets and some cabbage. Today I ate the remaining half pound of liver and ate the remaining one beet. Now my feces turned dark red while emitting what looked like red dye. I would love to eat the entire pound, but I don’t want to overdo it. I doubt iron deficiency, maybe iron excess. I don’t eat liver often, because I’m scared of nutrient overloading. I don’t think I have low stomach acid. I just don’t have the symptoms. I read iron excess could cause coloration, too. Maybe it was just the liver? They were very tasty, so I’ll be buying them again.

  3. @Karl. I’ve only had that happen after drinking beet juice before a long run.

    I’ve read that it’s a sign of low iron and/or stomach acid. I’m sure there are other posters here who know more.

  4. That sounds good. I didn’t make it though.

    I had beets yesterday and noticed later that my urine became discolored to a reddish/orange/pink or so color. Is anyone familiar with this “beeturia” as it’s called?

  5. Thank you so much. I have beets fresh from the garden on my counter. This is exactly what I needed.

  6. For beef stock..
    Buy a beef bone in Asian store for buck a pound and make a pot of beef stock… Awesome… Much more mineral from the bones…

  7. Also delicious with cottage cheese, whipped cream or sour cream and… roasted sesame seeds

    • I cook Borscht at least couple times a month, it is one of our staples. My Russian mother and grandma spent many years on Ukraine.
      I don’t agree with Chris’s recipe mainly because it doesn’t contain the main ingredient which creates the distinction between a Borscht and a vegetable soup with beets. The ingredient – raw garlic mashed and steered with bacon fat and salt into a paste and added immediately after you took your pot with the soup from the heat at the very end of cooking. It creates the unique Borscht flavor . Before you added the crash garlic, it is just a vegetable soup.
      Second MAJOR mistake – beets will loose the distinct color and taste if cooked sliced in in a water for a long time. There are several proper ways to add beets to a soup in order to make a Borscht out of it. Beets are added only at the end on cooking after some source of acidity(tomatoes, lemon juice, sauerkraut brine, vinegar) is added to the mix. The easiest way – use canned beets. Just chop or blend or finely slice it and add to your soup with the liquid in the can. You can microwave raw beets(wrap it with a paper towel to avoid cleaning the insides of your microwave) for 5 minutes and shred it after peeling. You can saute root veggies, when they are half-done add tomato paste and chopped beets. You can boil unpeeled beets separately before you start making the Borscht (it takes much longer than boil potatoes) in a water until a knife will penetrate it easily, take beets out , peel it under running cold water, shred it before adding to your pot. Use the cooking water mixed with a broth for making your Borscht, add beets at the end.

  8. The recipe I got from an Ukrainian friend also includes cabbage and parsnip. I mash the vegetables with a potato masher in the pot, it’s blended but still with some texture. A dollop of sour cream in the bowl makes everything come together nicely.