Before I made this recipe, I didn’t have a great impression of borscht. Basically, I only had it one other time and it wasn’t great. But beets were in season and they were cheap at the Farmer’s Market so the hubs and I decided to make some borscht.

This was the recipe we decided on and the only recipe we have ever used. We found a gem (I like to say) and have stuck to it faithfully. I’ve come across some other borscht recipes, but they don’t seem as tasty as this one. It does require some “work”, but the results are fantastic. The use of a food processor is highly encouraged as beets can stain.

Borscht (with meat)

(taken from here)


  • 1 pound beef, cut into 1 inch sized chunks (you can use any cut you like, I used stew meat)
  • 1 tablespoon salt + more to taste
  • 2 large, or 3 medium sized beets, or equivalent (eyeballing it is fine); wash, peel and grate them (I used a food processor)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated (I used a food processor)
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, sliced into the 1 cm thick slices, or cut into small dice
  • 1/2 head of a small cabbage, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced (I used about 3-4 whole tomatoes from the can and roughly chopped them)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sour cream (for garnish)
  • Fresh dill/parsley (for garnish)


  1. Place meat in a large pot with 14 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for at least an hour. You can periodically skim any foam crud that rises to the top.
  2. Heat a large pan with olive oil and place grated beets in pan. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar on top and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Mix well and saute for another 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Using the same pan, melt butter and add onion. Saute for about 2 minutes then add the carrot and cook for another 5 minutes until carrots have softened.
  5. Once meat has been cooking for at least an hour, add sliced/diced potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add cabbage, beets, carrot onion mixture, and tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
  7. Add bay leaves, pepper and salt, to taste.
  8. Add the parsley, minced garlic and stir well. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let soup rest for about 20 minutes. This allows the flavors of the soup to meld.
  9. Serve with sour cream, garnish with dill/parsley. This is a really hearty soup so even when served with bread, the hubs and I can only eat about 1-2 slices.

**If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can probably substitute the beef stock/broth with vegetable stock then follow step 2 onwards.


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