A soup of Ukrainian origin, which became very famous all over Eastern and central Europe. In this soup, beetroot is the star of the show. Beets are a primary vegetable used in those areas during the cold months of winter. The story of Borscht began, when people would keep trimmings of root vegetables – mainly beets – in a large pot, that when full they would cook in beef broth and serve as soup. It was therefore known to be a poor man’s soup, at first, but then moved up in rank to make it into a star soup in every city.

Different cities created different versions of this soup, however the original Ukrainian preparation uses beats as a base, and add starchy root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, together with chopped celery, tomatoes and mushrooms; all cooked in beef broth. The Russian borscht is made out of beets, cabbages and potatoes, the Polish version includes tomatoes and tomato paste, while the Romanian Borscht is based on the use of fermented wheat.

Whichever version you choose to make, a key component of all Borscht soups is acidity, usually coming from the use of red wine vinegar or the use of lemon. Another staple ingredient is a dollop of sour cream on top.

Borscht is served in 2 variations…

  • Hot Borscht – the more famous version. Served as a hearty soup that can be served as a main, especially when bacon or meat are used in making it. But usually served as an appetiser with a side of dark bread such as pumpernickel.
  • Cold Borscht (Chlodnik) – famous in Belarusian, Polish and Ukrainian cuisines, and is a relative of Gazpacho, or the Hungarian Cold Tomato Soup…etc. Once the Borscht is cooked, it is cooled, then mixed with sour cream or yogurt, which turns it into a pinkish hue. Chopped hard boiled eggs are then mixed into it and it is finally garnished with dill or parsley. This version makes for a unique cold soup or shooter aperitif for a cocktail party.

Since we are talking beets and what to do when they are in season and very abundant, I have included for you a video on how to make beet chips. They are very in at the moment, but trendy or not, these beautiful beet chips are much better to snack on than those processed potato crisps you buy at the supermarkets! You can flavour them to any flavour you like, BBQ, paprika, spicy, salty….etc.


Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely sliced
  • 1 liter beef broth (for vegetarian version you can use vegetable broth instead)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large beetroots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup diced peeled carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery stalks
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or juice of 1/2 lemon
  • DS Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp sour cream or low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • fresh dill springs

Place the oil and chopped onions in a medium pot over high heat and saute the onions until translucent but not browned.

Add the broth, seasoning and cubed potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 4 minutes then add the diced carrots and continue simmering until the vegetables are are tender (about 15 minutes).

Add the rest of the vegetables together with the vinegar and bring back to a boil, reduce heat to medium until all the vegetables are cooked through, potatoes are very soft and the liquid is a rich dark red colour.

Serve hot with a dollop of prepared sour cream or yogurt on top, then garnish with fresh, finely chopped parsley and sprigs of dill.

Best Served with bread on the side to soak up all those beautiful liquids.

For the Prepared sour cream or yogurt

Mix sour cream or yogurt with a tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley. Season with black pepper. Use to garnish top of soup.

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