This is my friend Sasha's Russian family recipe for borscht. I made a few small changes to her recipe: I took my time sauteing the vegetables instead of adding them all at once, and I added a little brown sugar to deepen the flavor. Borscht tastes great reheated but it won't have the vibrant color any longer.


Recipe Summary

1 hr
1 hr 15 mins
15 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut the greens off the beets. Remove stems and discard. Wash and dry leaves, then chop. Set aside.

  • Scrub beets and place into a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until beets can be easily pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel immediately and grate coarsely. Set aside.

  • Heat olive oil in a large wide pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Add onion and slowly cook until soft and translucent, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant without browning, about 1 minute.

  • Add carrots, rutabaga, and parsnip and cook over medium heat until vegetables start to soften, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar and continue cooking until vegetables start to brown in some spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 quarts water, cabbage, salt, and bay leaf; stir well.

  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beet greens in the last 2 minutes. Leave the pot uncovered so beet greens maintain their color.

  • Mix in grated beets and remove borscht from the heat immediately to stop the cooking process; this will preserve its bright color. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper.

  • Serve sprinkled with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

Cook's Notes:

I used beets and greens from my garden, which I had already cooked and frozen.

Substitute tarragon vinegar for the white wine vinegar if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

140 calories; protein 2.7g; carbohydrates 18.6g; fat 6.9g; cholesterol 3.2mg; sodium 657.9mg. Full Nutrition