Ukrainian Borscht Soup

Ukrainian Borscht Soup

It would be so strange if I, with Ukrainian mother and grandmother, weren't able to cook a proper Ukrainian borscht soup, not the simple one, but the one you couldn't stop eating, wanting to eat the spoon as well! This recipe is a combination of everything I know from my mom and my grandma, things that I've seen and studied throughout the past 10 years and, obviously, my personal touch... The soup is thick, very filling, complex, with many vegetables, cabbage, beans and meat - in Ukraine they say that the soup is good if the spoon is able to stand up in the plate.

The vegetarian variant can be found on my website, either with lentils or beans, as you like it.


Beef/pork meat
500 g
or bone-in, as you prefer
White onion
3 pieces
2 pieces
1 piece
Bell pepper
2 pieces
1 piece
a big one or 2 smaller ones
White cabbage
0.5 kg
Sunflower oil
50 ml
Tomato paste
2 tbsp
Borsch/Lemon juice
0.5 l
Fresh parsley
1 piece
1 bunch
Garlic cloves
5 pieces
Celery root
0.5 pieces
also 1 parsnip or parsley root, if you have
2 tbsp
to taste
Cacao powder
200 g
canned or boiled in advance. I often use frozen green peas instead of beans.
Laurel leaves
2 pieces

Step by step


In a 5 litre pot, place the chopped meat, 1 pepper, the celery and parsnip roots and 1 onion.


Fill the pot with about 3 litres of water.


Add 2 bay leaves (I know, it might sound strange for some, but I've been doing like this all my life, that's how I learned from my mom and my grandma). 

Place the pot over heat ant bring to a boil.


When it comes to a boil, skim foam off with a spoon or a skimmer, turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook slowly for at least 2 hours (even 3 if the meat is harder, or if you are using the pressure cooker).


When it's cooked, we take out the vegetables and the meat - I don't put the vegetables back, I rip/cut the meat into pieces and I put it back in the soup (see the steps below). 

Don't feel sorry for throwing away the vegetables, they already gave the best they had, we will bring some more, new and better ones :)


Of course, while meat is cooking, we don't waste time: 

- We peel, wash and prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

- First, the potatoes, the carrot, 2 onions 1 pepper and 2 beets.


- The cabbage, parsley and garlic.

- We boil and drain the beans, if it's canned beans, we only drain.


Now we start to chop: 

- cabbage into fine pieces, potatoes into cubes, carrots into slices and julienne the onions and pepper into 0.5cm strips.


When meat is cooked and soup is ready, as I said before, we remove the root vegetables. 

We add the vegetables we chopped at step 8 to the soup and the meat. 


When it comes to a boil, we turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. 


Meanwhile, we deal with something very important as well:

- We heat up oil in a skillet, we add a finely diced onion.


- When it changes colour, we add tomato paste, mix and cook for 2 more minutes.


- We add the beet, grated using the medium wholes side, we stir and saute for another 15-20 minutes over low heat.


After 30 minutes, the vegetables in the soup have boiled. 

I usually pick a potato in the spoon and test it with the knife and go on with the recipe.


Now we stir in the boiled beans, the meat and the sauteed beet mixture.


We season with salt, we add the sour Romanian bors (or the lemon juice) to taste.


We mix well and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.


Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and half an onion, crush the garlic.


Add to the soup, stir well.


We turn off the heat immediately, put the lid on and let sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavours to blend before serving the soup.


The soup must be served with sour cream or yogurt, for the dietetic version. 


Quantity: 5 l (o cratita de 5 litri plina)
Prep time: 120 min
Difficulty: difficult
Ready in: 60 min
Publish date:
Collections: Soups

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