Borscht is a common traditional sour soup in Slavic countries. The most popular borscht is the variation of Ukrainian origin made with beetroot, which is the main character of this delicious soup. Originally Borscht is made with beef shank, but I made the vegetarian version. Borscht has all the ingredients you need during wintertime. There are many different ways to make borscht, I heard there are borscht recipes which includes about 30 ingredients!! I guarantee you, this soup is packed with lots of healthy ingredients. In this recipe I used fresh organic red beets from the market, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, dill and a bit of sour cream on top.
Flashback to Listvyanka, Russia
My first encounter with borscht was memorable. In 2015 I travelled for about a year through Asia with my friend Iris and we started our amazing trip with the Transmongolian Express from Amsterdam to China. On the way we made a few stops here and there. In Russia we stayed a few nights in Listvyanka, a small fairytale town on the southwest side of Lake Baikal. In a typical Russian restaurant we ordered borscht and besides the fact that this deep purply red soup is just beautiful to see, it tasted wonderful. I understand why this soup derives from Slavic countries, it’s the perfect warm-up when it’s freezing cold.
Although this recipe is vegetarian, it doesn’t lack in flavor. If you leave the vegetables simmer long enough with the herbs, the broth will get an intense flavor, you’ll love it, I am sure. While making the borscht I didn’t know I would have a Russian friend coming over for dinner. But when she heard I was making this soup, she had to come and try. She was amazed by it, thank god and myself, I was also quite impressed with its taste. For a minute it put me back on that train to cold Russia again. I just love it when food takes you back to a precious memorie ♡
So here you go, a recipe of the wonderfully satisfying borscht, perfect for a cold weather day!
Classic Vegetarian Borscht (Ukrainian Beet Soup)
- Philips HR7629 Food Processor
- 1½ cup chopped onion
- 3 fresh beets
- ½ grated carrots
- 5 tbsp tomato paste
- 2½ liter vegetable stock if you're not vegetarian you could use beef stock
- 2 potatoes
- ½ cabbage
- 3 tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- sea salt and pepper to your taste
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 3 bay leafs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 celery stalks
- Peel and chop the raw beets. I cooked them a bit to make them softer but you could skip that and cut them in 4 parts.
- Transfer the beetroots parts piece by piece to a food processor that grates them into thin slices. Do the same with the carrots after peeling them.
- Cut the onion, celery stalks and potatoes into small pieces. Chop the cabbage thinly.
- Add the oil to a large skillet and add the onion and bay leafs to sauté 5-7 minutes. Add the beets, potatoes, celery and carrots to the skillet and sauté for 10 min; add more oil if necessary. Stir in tomato paste; remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large stockpot bring 2½ liters of vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Add it to the beet, carrot and potatoes. Add the cabbage, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and stir in garlic and dill.
- Serve the soup hot with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!