Kyera's Hearty Beef Borscht


My friend's mom used to make 'garden' soup every Sunday. She would go through her fridge and any unused veggies would be thrown into the soup pot. This is my version; hearty, thick, and chock full of veggies. It is important to add the diced beets at the end to keep the color appealing. My daughter goes crazy for this soup; it is very tasty and filling, best served warm.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
6 hrs
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 55 mins
16 cups


  • 2 pounds beef oxtail

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 2 cups diced carrots

  • 1 head cabbage, diced

  • 1 cup diced celery (Optional)

  • ½ cup pearled barley

  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cups water, or enough to cover

  • 1 bunch beets with greens - scrubbed, beets diced, and greens chopped

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Place oxtail, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, barley, onion soup mix, dill, cinnamon, bay leaf, and water in a large slow cooker. Cook on low until meat is tender, about 5 hours.

  2. Remove meat and bones from slow cooker; cool on a plate until easily handled, about 10 minutes. Cut meat into small pieces; return meat to the soup and discard bones. Skim off any fat from soup; remove bay leaf.

  3. Stir beets and beet greens into soup; cook on low until beets are tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper; top each bowl with about 1 tablespoon sour cream to serve.

Cook's Note:

This soup can be made in a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot(R)). Mine is 8 quarts. Put barley, onion soup, spices, bay leaves, water and oxtail in the pot. Select Soup/Stew function; set timer for 40 minutes on Soup/Stew function. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build. Release pressure naturally according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove oxtail and shred meat. Add remaining veggies and shredded meat to the pot. Select Soup/Stew function and set timer for 5 minutes. Release pressure naturally and discard bay leaves. The difference with the pressure cooker is the meat doesn't separate as easily, the barley is much softer, and the color of the soup is not as vibrant. Both methods are flavorful and the veggies are cooked.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

238 Calories
11g Fat
16g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 238
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 333mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 31mg 154%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 447mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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