Classic Borsch

Classic Borsch

Classic Borsch

I like Russian food, although I don’t make it all that often. Once, long ago we had a nice Russian restaurant in town. They made excellent borsch, but tragically suffered from poor management decisions (bad location, sign in Russian not English in the middle of the Midwest, really high prices). I decided to resurrect their borsch and started digging on my favorite Russian cooking sites.  These are always so fun to compare with ours because the writing style is almost a 180 from our own cooking blogs. Here everything is step-by-step with a ton of gorgeous pictures. There you get exactly one small picture and an approximation of ingredients. Russian women, it’s assumed, already know how to cook. Since that approach so often mirrors my own (note the total absence of step-by-step photos) their sites are an instant hit with me. Anyway, using about a dozen “standard” recipes I mashed them together into the new favorite below. It tastes just like my memory of their soup. Now to make their pierogi…

Update: My husband isn’t a beet fan so he’s never happy with this soup even though it’s awesome. I have solved that problem though by using golden beets. That makes the soup taste less “beety” (so less authentic) and more like vegetable beef soup. The other tasty change I made is to use red cabbage vs regular. It is sweet and replaces the red beets for color. Now it’s his favorite soup.

Serves 4-6

Reheat Yes

Freezes: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Turning their fingers red with the beets


  • 1 onion diced

  • 1 carrot julienne

  • 1 beet julienne

  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce

  • 1 potato, diced

  • 1/4 head cabbage

  • 4 tbsp oil

  • 3 cloves garlic crushed

  • Greens from the beet, thinly sliced

  • Beef bones for soup (approx 3 lbs)

  • salt pepper

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp dill

  • 6 cups water


  1. Pan fry the beef bones on all sides in the oil or broil in the oven for a few minutes per side.

  2. Add water and cook the bones for a minimum of one hour preferably two or more.

  3. Remove bones from water and add the cabbage and potatoes.

  4. In a separate sauce pan fry the carrots, then the onion, then the beet until they soften and brown over medium high heat (add some oil as well). After you fry each one add it to the main soup pot. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, beet greens, bay and dill. Cook for 30 mins over low heat.

  5. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with the classic sour cream

Classic Borsch

Classic Borsch


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