My friend's mother from Ukraine taught me this recipe for the classic beet soup. It's as authentic as it gets. It can be served vegetarian-style by omitting the sausage.

Patti

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
40 mins
total:
1 hr 5 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Crumble the sausage (if using) into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Advertisement
  • Fill a large pot halfway with water(about 2 quarts), and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, and cover the pot. Return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage, and the can of diced tomatoes.

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Transfer to the pot. Add the raw garlic to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.

  • Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream, if desired, and fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts

257 calories; protein 10.1g 20% DV; carbohydrates 24.4g 8% DV; fat 13.8g 21% DV; cholesterol 31mg 10% DV; sodium 626.3mg 25% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (329)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2008
I have used this recipe twice- excellent. Read carefully, I have been to 23 countries. This is how I modified: No meat-to greasy. No garlic- not needed. No sugar- use aged vinegar, nice and sweet. I also added one cube chicken bullion and one can of chicken stock, no fat. Also HALF the tomato paste. FRESH dill- lots. Cooked onions in grape seed oil, high burn rate. If you follow what I suggest, you will achieve culinary greatness and Ukrainian authenticity. Read More
(808)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
10/31/2008
Well, I grew up in Ukraine till I was 19, and this recipe has not much to do with the classic.First it is with pork meat- solid, juicy, not some boiled crumbs.No pork? Then chicken.Second-"boil beets they lost color(shape and nutrition value)"-why?It takes 10 minutes to have them cooked with love, preserving color,aroma, taste.Add even some more , finely shredded! recepie. Read More
(167)
453 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 294
  • 4 star values: 112
  • 3 star values: 28
  • 2 star values: 11
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2008
I have used this recipe twice- excellent. Read carefully, I have been to 23 countries. This is how I modified: No meat-to greasy. No garlic- not needed. No sugar- use aged vinegar, nice and sweet. I also added one cube chicken bullion and one can of chicken stock, no fat. Also HALF the tomato paste. FRESH dill- lots. Cooked onions in grape seed oil, high burn rate. If you follow what I suggest, you will achieve culinary greatness and Ukrainian authenticity. Read More
(808)
Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2006
Very good. I cook my beets with the skins on for about an hour in the water I will use for the soup. The skins slip right off after boiling and its easy to chop or slice them, besides it increases the nutritional value of the soup! Read More
(503)
Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2006
My family and I lived in Russia for 3 1/2 years, and I have looked for a borscht recipe that was the same as we had there. This one was perfect! I've never had borscht with meat in it, so I made it vegetarian. This was the real thing - especially with the sourcream, or "smeatana" on top! Read More
(269)
Advertisement
Rating: 1 stars
10/30/2008
Well, I grew up in Ukraine till I was 19, and this recipe has not much to do with the classic.First it is with pork meat- solid, juicy, not some boiled crumbs.No pork? Then chicken.Second-"boil beets they lost color(shape and nutrition value)"-why?It takes 10 minutes to have them cooked with love, preserving color,aroma, taste.Add even some more , finely shredded! recepie. Read More
(167)
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2006
I lived in Russia for 6 months and this is authentic! Don't overcook it or the rich magenta color will turn brick red. Delicious and so healthy. Even my three year old liked it. Read More
(113)
Rating: 4 stars
01/23/2007
I tried out this recipe but added a few changes. First of all I prepared the sausage seperately and put it aside. For the veggie mix, I used a big bag of already prepared coleslaw mix since it has the cabbage and carrots already incorporated. I also used two cans of baby red beets. I prepared the vegetable mix and the onion and tomato paste mix separately and then mixed those two together. I then pureed the whole thing to give it a thicker and denser texture. I returned it to the pot and then added the sausage, salt and pepper to taste. I left out the sugar. It came out beautifully but I think the use of a whole can of diced tomatoes AND the tomato paste made this soup more tomato-y than red beet-y. In the future, I'll skip the tomato paste. Really good with crusty French bread and the dallop of sour cream. Read More
(105)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
04/08/2007
I made this as an appetizer for Ukrainian Easter, it was really good. I wish it had a deeper beet flavor though. I added some red wine reduction in mine to give it a fuller flavor and to enhance the beets. I also made the soup a day in advance to let the flavors develop. I added some oregano to the recipe as well (I add oregano to everything) and didnt use as much tomatoes or tomato paste. I have seen a lot of borscht recipes that either involve beef or beef broth and I had always thought this was traditional (although i dont really think it is) so I used a little beef broth in replace of some of the water.. i wouldnt use too much though because it can take away from the beets. I plated the borscht in bowls that were set on top of leaves from the beets (which are edible and have a little purple coloring to them so they looked great with the soup). Overall, I would use this recipe again with a few adjustments. ...maybe more beets and less cabbage considering the cabbage doesnt add as much to it. Read More
(81)
Rating: 4 stars
06/11/2007
I must say that I was skeptical, but I absolutely LOVED it! We like our veggies in chunks (it's hard to shred beets without turning the counter pink!), so we diced/chopped all the vegetables, and it came out great. Thanks for this recipe! Read More
(65)
Rating: 4 stars
08/26/2006
I did like this borscht a lot and found it to be very authentic but it was a little too sweet for me with the amount of sugar called for... I should have paid more attention to the "to taste" part and added it 1/4 tsp. at a time. I also (as a few other reviewers have mentioned) served it with dill instead of parsley. The Borscht I recipe on this site is also very good but this one seems more true to the ones I have had in Russia or Ukraine. Read More
(62)