Borscht – Cabbage Beet Soup

Ukrainian Borscht is a delicious and healthy vegetable soup that is known and prepared throughout Russian/Slavic cultures. This version includes beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and can easily be made vegetarian/vegan.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Ukraine
Keyword Ukrainian Borscht
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Regina


  • 1 1/2 pounds meat I've used anything from chicken breasts to stewing beef or pork
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 medium potatoes cubed
  • 1/2 head cabbage shredded
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 medium carrots grated/shredded
  • 1-2 large beets grated/shredded
  • 1 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 tablespoon freshly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 tablespoon freshly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill 2 -3 tablespoon freshly chopped


  1. Wash and dry the meat and cut into 1" pieces. Heat a large 6 quart soup pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the meat and quickly brown from all sides (about 5 minutes). Fill the pot 2/3 full (4 quarts) of water and add bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn to low and cook for about 1 hour for meat to become soft and tender. Skim off any grey foam.

  2. Prepare your vegetables in the meantime. Cube the potatoes, shred the cabbage and set aside.
  3. In a large pan heat 2 tablespoon of oil and saute chopped onion until softened. Add chopped bell pepper and soften as well.
  4. Wash and peel carrots and beets. Grate by hand or shred with shredding attachments of your food processor (takes only a fraction of the time). Add shredded carrots and beets to pan and saute until softened (about 10 minutes). Lastly add diced tomatoes and saute another 5 minutes.
  5. Once the meat is tender, add potato cubes to the soup and boil until almost done (10 minutes). Add shredded cabbage and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Lastly, add sauteed veggies, black pepper and herbs (more salt, if needed). Bring to a boil, then turn off heat, cover and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves and serve with sour cream (or a splash of heavy cream) and a fresh dill sprig.