Borscht soup is a Russian traditional beet soup. It’s packed with vitamins and has a distinctive vibrant red colour. This is the original Russian recipe from my Mother.
I can’t believe that I still haven’t shared this Russian classic on the blog. My Mum is Russian, I grew up in a Russian family and that means that we ate a lot of Borsch growing up!
Borsch is cooked in our family at least once every fortnight until this very day. My whole family loves it, and I love it too. It’s a warming hearty soup that can be served all year round. I love the fact that it’s packed with vitamins and good stuff, and made very simple ingredients.
This recipe that I’m sharing with you today is a vegan version of the original Russian Borscht recipe. This is exactly the way we cook it in our family, the only thing that I’ve done differently is substituting smetana or sour cream with soy yogurt.
WHAT IS BORSCHT SOUP?
Borsch or Borscht (борщ in Russian) is a healthy and filling soup that comes from the former Russian Empire. With beetroot being the main ingredient in this soup, it has a distinctive red colour. There are many different variations of this soup. It’s mainly made from beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and spices.
IS BORSCHT A RUSSIAN SOUP?
I believe that Borscht is Russia’s national dish. As I mentioned before, the soup comes from the former Russian Empire. There are different variations of this soup in Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland (try my Polish Borscht soup), Lithuania, Belarus and Armenia.
IS BORSCHT A VEGAN SOUP?
This version of Borscht that I’m sharing with you in this post is vegan. However, this soup can be made with meat (beef), with bone stock or both. It can also be served with hard boiled eggs or without to be served vegetarian.
If you want this soup to be even more filling with more protein, you could add some beans.
This soup can be served hot or cold. In the summer, it can be blended with smetana, kefir or sour cream and served cold. Once blended with Smetana, it will have a very pretty deep pink colour. In Russia, the cold variation of Borscht soup is called Svekolnik (beetroot soup), and in Belarus it’s called Khaladnik.
The main ingredient for this soup is beetroot. Beets can be either roasted, boiled or sauteed. In this version, I boil half of the beets used and saute the rest.
You will also need:
As for the spices, you will need:
HOW TO MAKE RUSSIAN BORSCHT SOUP
You will need a deep pot to make the soup, and a pan to saute the vegetables. Start by grating the beets and the carrots, then dice the potatoes, onions and shred the cabbage. Leave the garlic cloves as they are, just peel the skin and set aside.
Start by adding water to your pot, when it starts to boil add half of the grated beets and let them cook with cardamom and cumin.
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan (I use corn oil). Then saute the onions until they’re soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the grated carrot, and cook until the carrot is soft and tender.
Add the rest of the beetroot, followed by a 200 ml of either water or the beet soup that’s being cooked in the pot. At this point, I like to add a vegetable stock cube to the liquid for extra flavour, along with the tomato paste. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes until the beets become soft.
Add the shredded cabbage to the pot, followed by the rest of the spices and let it cook until the cabbage becomes semi-tender. Then add the potatoes, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Finally, add the sauteed vegetables from the pan to the pot, cover the pot and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender.
Russian Borsch Soup VIDEO
I created a step by step video to show you how we make Borscht soup in our house.
BORSCHT GARNISHES AND SIDES
Borscht soup is usually served with Smetana which is a runnier version of sour cream, Smetana is found every grocery store in Russia and most Eastern European countries.
The soup is usually garnished with chopped dill, but can also be garnished with chopped parsley, scallions or chives.
In our family, we love Borscht with a piece of rye bread (we call it black bread in Russia!) and gherkins.
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Russian Borscht Soup
- 600 grams beetroot grated
- 150 grams onion diced
- 250 grams carrot grated
- 500 grams cabbage shredded
- 600 grams potato diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp coriander dried
- 1 cube vegetable stock
- In a large pot, add water and let it boil. Then add half of the grated beetroot, cumin and cardamom and cook until beets become soft.
- In a pan, add oil and cook onions until they're soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add the grated carrot, and cook until the carrot is soft and tender.
- Add the rest of the beetroot, followed by a 200 ml of either water or the beet soup that's being cooked in the pot. Add a vegetable stock cube to the liquid for extra flavour, along with the tomato paste. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes until the beets become soft.
- At this point, you can remove the garlic cloves if you like. I usually just leave them.
- Add the shredded cabbage to the pot, followed by the rest of the spices and let it cook until the cabbage becomes semi-tender. Then add the potatoes, and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Finally, add the sauteed vegetables from the pan to the pot, cover the pot and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender.
- Serve with a dollop of soy yogurt (you can use Smetana or sour cream if you don't follow a plant-based diet).