Well kids, you don’t get any more Ukrainian than this. Borsch – i.e. Beet soup. Whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the most traditional and delicious recipes my Mother inherited from her own Mother (my Baba).

Claudia typically makes Borsch mid-to-end of summer when there is an abundance of beets in our garden in Saskatchewan, and on every holiday occasion (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas). For a recipe that is relatively simple to make, there are so many variations around. I am pretty certain I’m biased, but this one is truly the best out there.

Growing up we always had meat in our Borsch – usually boiled chicken or pork. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a boiled meat kinda girl. So when I got old enough and decided it was time to throw a fuss, Claudia only served this vegetarian-style Borsch recipe to our family. Yes, I am a spoiled princess. But I’m still right – this rendition tops the meat varieties any day.

You will need:

Beets. Lots of beets. How many is really dependent on how big they are and how much you like in your soup. When I asked Claudia why her written out recipe says “3 beets – size of an orange” and we’re shredding about 15, she replied: “Jaime, I want to be able to find the beets in my Borsch! So shred enough to fill half the pot we are using”.  There’s your gauge folks!

1 diced carrot

4 cups water

4 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1 large sliced onion

1-2 diced potatoes

3 tbsp butter (aka: Ukrainian gold)

1 can tomato soup (10 fl oz/284ml)

1.5 tbsp flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water

2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Begin shredding your beets with a regular ol’ cheese grater. A great tip for you first beet-timers: use gloves. Unless you want to look like you’re a vampire who just finished feasting. Yes, I’m currently reading the Twilight saga.

Shredded beets!

Add your diced carrot to the pot with beets

Add your 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add lemon juice. We don’t really use this for flavour but merely because the lemon juice keeps the red colour in the beets.

Add your potatoes.

Simmer again for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add some colour in there by throwing in your frozen peas and simmer until tender.

After you throw in those peas and waiting for everything to simmer and tenderize, saute your chopped onion in that Ukrainian gold until soft.

Stir onions into the Borsch

Next add your can of tomato soup, and water/flour mixture.

Stir well.

Add your fresh dill. Bring to a boil again.

Add salt and pepper.

Serve hot and with some sour cream (optional but amazing) and enjoy!

Ukrainian food doesn’t get much more comforting than this.

Borsch
Serves 8
A deliciously comforting beet soup, or Borsch as it's called in Ukrainian.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 diced carrot
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 4 cups chicken broth
  4. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  6. 1 large sliced onion
  7. 1-2 diced potatoes
  8. 3 tbsp butter (aka: Ukrainian gold)
  9. 10 medium-sized beets, shredded
  10. 1 can tomato soup (10 fl/oz / 284 ml)
  11. 1.5 tbsp flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
  12. 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1/2 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add your diced carrot and beets to a large pot.
  2. Add your 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice and potatoes.
  4. Simmer again for 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Add frozen peas and simmer until tender.
  6. While peas are simmering, saute chopped onion in butter until soft in a medium skillet.
  7. Stir onions into the Borsch
  8. Add your can of tomato soup, and water/flour mixture. Stir well.
  9. Add your fresh dill. Bring to a boil again. Add salt and pepper.
  10. Serve hot and with some sour cream (optional but amazing) and enjoy!
Claudia's Cookbook http://www.claudiascookbook.com/

24 Comments on Borsch

  1. Prairie Story
    September 17, 2010 at 8:12 AM (7 years ago)

    I LOVE borscht! My grandma taught me how to make it. It’s one of our family favorites!! We keep our beets whole and a few other small differences from yours (perhaps b/c we are Polish). Here is link if you want to compare! – http://prairiestory.blogspot.com/2010/06/borscht.html

    Oh yeah… and my husbands family add vodka to theirs (Hungarian / Ukranian).

    I just love these traditional, family, recipes. You are doing a wonderful service to your family and heritage with your blog!! ~ALison

    Reply
  2. Claudia's Cookbook
    September 20, 2010 at 7:31 PM (7 years ago)

    Vodka in their Borsch? Very interesting! May have to try that!

    Thank you very much for your comments and kind words. Your blog is fantastic as well. Love the Recipe Swap Thursdays!

    Reply
    • Clara
      November 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM (7 years ago)

      Jaime this site you have created for your mom is great.
      I can see how you would excell at pr. Clara

      Reply
      • Claudia's Cookbook
        November 26, 2010 at 12:04 AM (7 years ago)

        Thank you so much Clara! I would love to feature some of your amazing recipes on this site as well one day 🙂

        Reply
  3. Tekla
    December 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM (6 years ago)

    My Baba would add the beet greens in for color (only beets from the garden and preferably young beets). Then, she would mix a bit of heavy cream and sour cream into the entire dish. OK, I have to make some today. I’m now starving!

    Reply
  4. Tatiana Payne
    January 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM (6 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I hosted a Ukranian christmas lunch at my house this year in memory of my late father’s family and everyone loved it!! Easy to follow and absolutely delicious dishes. Thank you!!!!

    Tatiana.

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      January 31, 2012 at 3:43 AM (6 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing Tatiana! I’m so glad that the recipes turned out and you had a fantastic Ukrainian Christmas lunch and you were able to connect with your family.

      Reply
  5. Lindsay
    January 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM (5 years ago)

    Do you boil your beets first to peel them? Or just peel like a potatoe when they are hard? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      January 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM (5 years ago)

      No, we just peel them like a potato with no boiling.

      Reply
  6. Brendon Hardt
    February 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM (4 years ago)

    Awesome, like you I eat borscht religiously. Literally year round once a month. I do my stocks from scratch but I also like to add in chicken broth from store near the end. I’m going to use your recipe this time, normally I cube or julienne my carrots beets and parsnip ( tweaked a little) but change is never bad so I may try shredding . Excellent blog you have here, your recipes are spot on, I’m Ukrainian as it gets and nothing comes close to the classic such at this as pyrshky. Kudos!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      February 12, 2014 at 2:15 PM (4 years ago)

      Hi Brendon! Thank you so much for your kind words. There are so many variations of Borscht, isn’t there? I actually had one last weekend where they used golden beets and it was more like a broth. I liked the versions similar to the recipe I posted on the blog a lot better, but who knew?! Stocks from scratch are amazing – good call on your part! Nice to hear from a fellow Ukrainian! Thanks again for the lovely words and hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Reply
  7. Lucy Bannister
    July 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM (3 years ago)

    Love your recipes and your mom’s( and baba’s too probably). I have a Ukrainian background too so many are familiar to me. Everything looks delicious! The garden is bursting so it’s time for borscht. Thank you for the great ideas.

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      July 23, 2014 at 11:56 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy! Fresh borscht using garden vegetables is the best! Let us know how you like the recipe 🙂

      Reply
  8. Harry Skromeda
    January 21, 2015 at 7:27 PM (3 years ago)

    I am so glad I found your site, get hungry just looking at your recipes which I will be trying especially this borscht one. My Mom always made it especially when our vegetables were in season and no meat in the soup, just the way like you I love it. I am so fortunate to be Ukrainian and have the privilege to have eaten all the delicious dishes. But I like other ethnic dishes as well but always go back to my roots for the real good stuff.

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      January 22, 2015 at 11:32 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks Harry! I’m so happy you enjoy the site 🙂 Let us know how you like the borsch recipe!

      Reply
  9. Katherine
    September 12, 2015 at 4:36 PM (2 years ago)

    Looks yummy. Just one question. The list of ingredients says one can of tomato soup, but the instructions say tomato juice. Which one is correct, and what size can?

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      September 12, 2015 at 4:56 PM (2 years ago)

      Hi Katherine! Sorry about that. It’s definitely tomato SOUP, and a 10 fl/oz or 284ml can is what you will need. I have updated the recipe as well. Thanks for letting me know and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Reply
  10. 9mm
    August 29, 2016 at 6:22 AM (1 year ago)

    A polish chef introduced me to the polish version of this. It’s less beetroot and red cabbage, and more normal cabbage and polish white sausage. Then it can be served in a cooked round loaf of bread – crusty on the outside with the inside scooped out – and then a boiled egg chopped in half and half a sausage. Delicious.

    Reply
  11. Dennis Sutherland
    September 20, 2016 at 1:39 PM (1 year ago)

    My wife, being POLISH, loved her mothers home made BORSCH , but since her passing she did not have any and the receipt died with her, sooooo,

    I being the great husband that I am made this for her and she was astonished how good it was and says its just like her MOM’S !!!

    THANK YOU CLAUDIA, it is great, and now I am Great !

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      September 24, 2016 at 4:17 PM (1 year ago)

      Hi Dennis! I’m so happy you enjoyed the borsch recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Reply
  12. Deanna
    November 7, 2016 at 10:08 AM (11 months ago)

    Do you peel or blanch the beets? I don’t see any mention, just shred the beets?
    Thank you.

    Reply
      • Nedene
        December 28, 2016 at 2:02 AM (9 months ago)

        You must peel the beets before shredding.

        Reply

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