Classic Russian Borscht

October 19, 2011

in Recipes, Russian & Azerbaijani, Soups & Stews


Having lived in a number of countries and having dabbled in various cuisines, I came to think of myself as a bit of a culinary (and cultural, for that matter) chameleon. Whenever I make a vat of borscht, however, there is no mistaking me for anything other than a native Russian. Coincidentally, borscht also happens to be one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and, as luck would have it, his foreign wife came with built-in borscht-making skills (although, due to the number of steps involved, I only make it once or twice per year).

Since, as I said, I think of borscht as relatively labor-intensive, I always make about eight quarts at a time – it keeps wonderfully in the fridge for up to a week and freezes well too.

To properly enjoy borscht, you need to make it a day ahead, so all the flavors have a chance to meld and mellow out.

I always start my borscht with making beef stock using either marrow bones or roasts, or a combination of both. You can find a step-by-step bone-broth tutorial here:

How to Make Beef Bone Broth

In this particular case, I made my stock using two kinds of roasts – a chuck roast, which was perhaps a tad gristly for the job, and the so-called arm roast, which comes from the front of a steer and includes a cross-section of a marrow bone. Arm roast is my favorite in many applications (including pot roast), because it cooks up tender and has very little gristle or connective tissue throughout (and then, of course, there is that marrow bone – a prized Old-Country delicacy, exalted in many a work of Russian literature).

As far as the ratio goes, I usually use between 4 and 6 lb of beef to approximately 8 quarts (2 gallons) of water to get a gallon or so of stock by the time it is done in two to three hours. Note that I don’t simmer my stock an entire day, as I want the meat to retain some of its juiciness and flavor so I can cube it and add it to the soup later. Because I don’t  often measure when I cook, I sometimes end up with borscht that is a little too thick, in which case I pour in extra water to get it to the right consistency. I then make up for diluting the beef flavor by adding a little bit of this nifty product towards the end (and since this particular concentrate tends to be really salty, I hold off on salting my borscht until I’ve added the beef base).

Whether you use packaged broth (which, by the way, did not exist in the old country) or homemade stock, ultimately it is beets that make borscht what it is, and I like mine roasted rather than boiled or sauteed (roasting directions, as well as all proportions, will be given in the recipe below).


Notice how smart I am, lining my cookie sheet with parchment paper to avoid beet-juice chiseling afterwards.

Next, we are going to be needing a few more root vegetables. I like to use carrots, parsnips, turnips, and celeriac, which I grate and saute in butter along with chopped onions prior to adding to the soup. With the exception of onions and celeriac, I leave these vegetables unpeeled.


Saute them until they look like this.


Next, stir about 2/3 to 1 can of tomato paste into the veggies you just sauteed while keeping your pan over low heat to help the paste melt. Please don’t be tempted to use fresh tomatoes instead, as they won’t give you the same robust flavor and throw off the texture.


Next, shred the cabbage (a sharp chef’s knife works really good for this).


Now grab your cooled beets and grate them.


Finally, cube the meat from the stock. Here I actually made a mistake of tearing it apart along the grain rather than slicing it across the grain, which would make the meat tender rather than chewy.

Note the marrow bone section at right. Back in the Old Country, bone marrow is considered a precious commodity worth fighting for, and I certainly don’t share mine with anyone. This, my friends, is the treat for the cook – I scoop it out with a spoon, sprinkle it with salt, and eat it with a piece of bread.

Once these preparations are complete, you can begin putting all parts together. Here is the complete recipe:


And this is what it will look like. Serve borscht with sour cream, more parsley, and some fresh, crusty bread.


1 Cecilia October 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Wow. That looks great. I’m thinking Thanksgiving.

Do I understand correctly that the minced garlic is added raw, and then simmered 10-15 minutes? Just want to be sure I didn’t miss a step. I couldn’t help but think that roasting the garlic with the beets would be convenient, too. Have you ever tried that? I’m concerned the boiled garlic might be harsh or bitter.

2 Sofya October 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

That’s correct – we want the garlic to be raw when we add it because we want the garlic flavor to be on the sharp side (as it is not made entirely mild by simmering). Of course, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t try roasting it first, but if you are thinking Russian borscht, a pronounced garlicky undertone is a part of the experience.

3 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Is the reserved meat added to the soup?
I did not see that anywhere in the instructions. I have never made (or eaten borscht) & was unaware that it had meat in it.
I can’t wait to try this, but will wait until hubs is gone. He hates beets. You are lucky to have a man that appreciates them

4 Sofya October 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Hi Lisa – you are right – I forgot to include it! I thought I was missing something. I’ll correct it as soon as I get a chance later today. Thank you for taking the time to point it out, and yes, it is added at the same time as the root vegetables (frankly, you could also add it at the time of adding the garlic, wouldn’t make a difference).

5 Jen @ October 21, 2011 at 7:48 am

This looks great! I would love if you submitted it to my Power of Pink Challenge to raise Breast Cancer Awareness.

6 Anna October 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm

OMG! I love borscht and have been thinking about making it too (I just got a bunch of beets from my CSA). But I think we use fewer root veggies (don’t remember celeriac or the others). My grandma also simplified it for herself so it’s not as labor-intensive (she omits the whole meat part) and it’s tasty, but not the same borscht we had in Uzbekistan.

7 Ruth November 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

You know, borscht is the only soup I’ve ever actually liked. Spent two weeks in Russia (sorry, don’t recall where off the top of my head, I know we flew into Moscow, but don’t recall the names of the cities we spent time in) in highschool, and were feed borscht alot. I didn’t expect to like it, as I don’t care for soups in general, but I ended up liking it alot (I don’t normally like beets either, weird).

8 Kate September 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Fantastic! I was gifted with two dozen large-ish beets from my local farmers’ market and then had to do something with them. Found simpler recipes but these are such gorgeous beets I felt they deserved a little work, so I went with this, and am SO glad I did. So delicious and so substantial — thank you!

Surely originally a winter soup — all the veg keep well, even the tomatoes if canned as sauce. The freezer gives us an advantage over our (great-)grandmothers — we can make it with supremely fresh produce.

9 Jonell Galloway November 9, 2011 at 3:03 am

I’ve just discovered your site and I’m thoroughly blown away by your mastery of so many aspects of food and farming, your photos, and the general spirit of the site. I’d love to contact you by e-mail but see no contact button.

Keep up the wonderful work. We need more people like you out there.

10 Sofya November 9, 2011 at 6:48 am

Hello Jonell – thanks for stopping by. There is an email button right next to the Facebook/Twitter/RSS button set at the top. Thank you!

11 Blanche November 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

This is FANTASTIC! I have spent the past nearly 7 hours cooking, chopping, grating, slicing, dicing, roasting and made a huge pot of this most delicious soup! It’s cooling now and getting ready to go into the fridge so I just had to try it! I couldn’t wait until tomorrow after the flavors melded. It’s super and is the BEST borscht I’ve ever had! I’ve made several different recipes and was going to give up on borscht until I saw your recipe and pics. Mine looks orange as opposed to red like yours as I used yellow and red beets. Other than that, I followed your recipe closely. I’m flipping out over how good it is, it’s unbelievable!!!! Thanks so much for posting! I love this website and some friends are now subscribing to it as well!

12 Blanche November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I could find celeriac and no one around here grows it on their farms. I didn’t substitute it with anything else. I’m sure it would have been a wonderful ingredient to the recipe but as it is, it’s perfect!

13 Sofya November 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Hey Blanche, so glad it worked for you. I think I do mention that it takes what seems like all day to make it, especially without a food processor to do all the grating, which is why making a giant pot and freezing most of it is great – it freezes so well. Celeriac is indeed optional, unlike carrots or cabbage or beets, for instance. Even if you make it without parsnip and turnip and celeriac and just go with the others it will still be great – or you can just throw in an extra turnip or parsnip instead.

14 Blanche November 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I can see why you spread the tasks over 2 days but decided this was my Sunday project and it was worth every minute! Adding the garlic close to the end made an enhanced the soup. If the bits had been sauteed with the veggies, the garlic would have been lost in all the other flavors. Roasting the beets inside foil pockets and then grating them after removing the skins kept the flavor and contained their texture. :0)

15 Sofya November 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

That’s the reason garlic is added at the end. For the punch.

16 PatW December 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I started a batch yesterday and finished it today. It is fabulous. I made a smaller batch, since I’m the only one who will eat it. Didn’t have celeriac, substituted juniper berries for allspice, and managed to forget the cabbage. Threw in a bit of red balsamic vinegar. Did not have any sour cream, so used a dollop of goat cheese. Delicious the first day, and am looking forward to the next!

17 Don June 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

You managed to forget the cabbage?!!? I bet you didn’t forget the vodka!

18 AmandaC March 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I made it!! It’s so good. A very powerful soup. Tastes just like my old boyfriend’s mother used to make (they were Ukrainian immigrants), and in fact, better :)
I’m a little fearful of how much butter goes into this soup, but it it really tastes wonderful anyhow. I was looking forward to trying the bone marrow, but for whatever reason all the marrow boiled out of my poor soup bone in the middle of cooking :’( I wonder, would it be good to slightly brown the pieces of meat and bone before putting them into the pot?
Cooking this was definitely time consuming and lots of work. Especially when your new kitchen isn’t stocked yet with a proper vegetable grater -_-”….. so I just turned it into a Zen like exercise in hand chopping almost everything. Definitely improved my knife skills :)
Thank you for such an authentic recipe!

19 Sofya March 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Glad you liked it! You can certainly do that with the marrow (brown first and eat it).

20 Jen G April 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I know this might seem like a silly question, but is it a warm or cold soup? I know you had said to leave it in the fridge for a day after making it so the flavors meld, and I’d assume that since it has meat in it you’d re-warm it… but just wanted to make sure!

21 Sofya April 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm


22 Slava August 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Dear Sofya, if you are from Russia, why do subscribe to the misconception of adding “t” at the end of “borsch”, as there is none in the Russian word?
I never miss a chance to correct my fellow Americans, but you missed a great teaching moment via your site.
BORSCH it is!

23 Sofya August 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Because google speaks American, silly.

24 Mark September 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

OK, I’m going to try this.. I am just an American guy, and it seems like a
lot of work; but the truth is that I love all the ingredients, and I can’t
imagine that the end result wouldn’t be delicious. I have a distant
East European history, and it seems like something I should know.

25 Sofya September 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

Sure is a lot of work. An easier way to do it would be to add the grated veggies and onions without sauteing first. You can boil beets instead of roastig. And use store-bought stock.

26 Salihah September 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

One of my favorite comfort foods! I cannot wait to try this recipe!
Salihah recently posted..Escapes in a Small HomeMy Profile

27 Melanie September 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

YUM!! I am a borscht fanatic!! Can’t get enough of it!!!
Do you think that some of your homemade yogurt could be used in place of the sour cream?

28 Sofya September 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Oh, absolutely!

29 Aaron semchyshen October 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

hello sofya, this looks and sounds exactly like ukrainian borscht, Russian borscht is not made with beats maybe see if you can find the difference in the two

30 Sofya October 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

We don’t differentiate like that where I come from in USSR, not to mention that this is the Google-appropriate title. Russians all make borscht with beets, and you are perhaps thinking shi, the cabbage soup. What they may not use is the celeriac, but this is an American blog for the American audience.

31 Aaron semchyshen October 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

ukrainan borsht is made with cabbage and mostly beats ect ect, im from ukraine, i know this lol but im just trying to find out which russian borcht is the clear type of soup……..

32 Luke December 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Aaron, I think the borscht you’re looking for is Zeleny borshch (green borscht).

33 Nadine April 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Hello Aaron I believe I know exactly what type of borscht you speak of. My family immigrated to Canada in early 1900 when Kiev was still apart of Russia and we are Russian. Our Borscht is made of cabbage, dill, garlic, potato, tomato, carrots, onions and the smallest beet just for color my Baba would say. This Borscht is not red it is a orange almost. The name for this is Doukhobor Borscht! If you google this I’m sure you will find detailed directions. A hint use yellow flesh potato it is better for you and less starch. Hope you enjoy!

34 Ana November 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

I am glad I found your yogurt recipe , my mother made it every other day with the flame of the pilot in the gas stove, I can not wait to make your borscht recipe, I was born in Mexico City with population of 21 million (last time I checked) married a Texan and moved to Houston, Texas, my father in law was a russian inmigrant from Kiev and arrived in the Island of Galveston in the early 1900′s he loved borscht and I learn to love it also (his recipe was more clear beet broth) . When I’ll cook the borscht I will eat the marrow, it is a real treat, but I will eat in a traditional mexican way with a corn tortilla for a true mexican taco, Great recipies and pictures!!

35 Aaron Semchyshen December 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Kiev is in Ukraine, not Russia. Russia had Moscow

36 Patricia Stevens December 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

You would love to be in contact with my friend Natalies: You are like two peas in a pod!
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37 Sarah December 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I have a couple questions for you, I was at the store yesterday getting all the ingredients to make the borscht but they didn’t have ANY meet with the bone or even soup bones. Am I still able to make a beef stock without the bones, and if so how? Also could not find any allspice berries, how crucial are they to the meal? Any substitutions I might be able to make for them? I enjoy cooking but am very new to it so I’m truly clueless right now as what to do…help!

38 Sofya December 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Yes you can make stock with cheap roast-type meat or short ribs, bone-in or bone-out variety, either one. You can also just go ahead and make it with store-shelf stock or broth. Allspice is not crucial and can be substituted with whole cloves.

39 Judy December 26, 2012 at 11:07 am

Sofya…..We are expecting a big winter storm, so I’m heading off to the store to get everything needed for your amazing Borsch(t) recipe! I love homemade soups and have never tried homemade Borsch. The only kind I tried was clear from a bottle in the store…Gag! I’m so excited about this because I have friends that are learning Russizn and I want to surprise them with this Classic Russian Soup. Perhaps, i will make the bread to go with it! Any suggsstions? Thanks….Judy

40 Sofya December 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm

The no-knead is always good. I have my version posted on Simple Bites if you wanna google.

41 Vitka December 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I am so excited to have happened upon this site! I, too, am from Russia and am just now – almost four decades after emigrating to Canada – beginning to dabble in Russian cooking. Tonight my goal is Borsch, which I will be serving as part of a ‘Progressive’ New Year’s Party. My house is second on the route and I have decided to go with a Russian theme: Borsch; frozen, dilled Vodka; eggplant caviar and Tchaikivsky:) Spasibo for the incredible recipes (worth reading for `voice`alone, I might add!)

42 Aylin Emeksiz December 30, 2012 at 9:38 am

My continuous theme being cooking with local AND vegetables in season only, thought of Russian borscht and searched the web.. Read at least ten recipes, then came across your website.. (fantastic, a lot to learn from) The best borscht ever.. My love(hubby) loved it, our guest loved it… And I had the best time making it, besides enjoying eating it… thank you thank you thank you…
(Did cheat a little bit on amount of butter.. compensated with olive oil (Mediterranean girl !) and instead of sour cream, used goat milk yogurt) FANTASTIC…

43 Laura January 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

When I saw that your borscht used turnips, parsnips and celeraic where others had potatoes, I knew I had found the right recipe. I cannot wait to taste this!

44 Sofya January 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm

And potatoes – I just realized that I omitted them by accident when I wrote down the recipe!

45 Laura January 7, 2013 at 1:45 am

Oh! I tasted it tonight, and thought I would like it with horseradish mashed potatoes. I may do that, since I didn’t put them in the recipe. I had no chuck roast, so I used the beef stock I had on hand, some soup bones, and added browned ground chuck with the reserved beets at the end. The taste is good, but I know I would prefer the texture with the roast. Oh, well, one uses what one has on hand to make soup in the winter. I was stunned that this made 3 gallons, we will be set for quite awhile. Thank you for sharing your recipe, it was an adventure!

46 Laura August 25, 2013 at 2:43 am

I made this again, starting with 24-hour bone broth, then adding the meat from a 6-pound 7-bone chuck roast. I was right — I do like it so much better with roast than ground chuck. I shredded it rather than cubing it. It was time consuming, but I like that the meat shreds match the veggies, and I love, love, love the texture. This is an epic soup.

47 Sofya August 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Great to hear, Laura! Nice touch on the shredding!

48 Christine January 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

My mother was polish, and she made a wonderful borsch, but her recipes were in her head and she left this earth 20 years ago. We were the only ones in the family who liked beets! I have been trying to recreate her soup for years. She added vinegar and sugar, and pinch of horseradish to finish and get the sweet-sour-bite right, and no turnips or parsnips or potato. The tomato paste is a new one on me, too, so I followed your recipe to a ‘B’ ;). I’ve been working on this all day, and am now waiting for the stock to complete to add the other ingredients, but it smells divine. I did roast the garlic with the beets, and pulverized it into paste and into the stock. I will add some fresh near the end for that extra zip. I am ecstatic over the idea of roasting the beets!!! Simply brilliant! I’ve never grated them before, just sliced and chopped, this is so much easier and more flavorful! Thank you for the tips. (and for the yogurt freaks, this recipe MUST have sour cream, you just ruin the acid balance with yogurt :( ) All that wonderful butter preserves the veggies flavor whem they plump up, nothing else will do that. Thank you for sharing an amazing recipe for the perfect Borsch(t). lol.

49 liana January 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

great recipe! I substituted the beef broth with veggie bullion and it was delish! also added some beans!

50 Sofya January 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

My American family also adds beans to theirs!

51 Lisa February 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I discovered your site a few months ago and have totally enjoyed flipping through the recipes and witty blog posts. Your thorough recipe for yoghurt inspired me to finally have a go at it and I’ve made delicious yogurt about 10 times now – I can’t eat store bought any more! So now I’m trying the borscht. I eat it every year at Ukrainian Christmas at a friend’s house – made by his Ukrainian mum – and love it, but I like that yours has meat, so I’m going with this recipe. The stock is simmering as I write. I did make one change that I would encourage people to try – I do it with *all* my stocks with great success: roast your meat first (sprinkle w/salt and pepper, 350F, ~1hr), then proceed as you would with raw meat. Make sure to include all the good stuff from the bottom of the roasting pan. An additional bonus: that roasty crust on the marrow… sooo good. Another thing I need to thank you for trying – bone marrow! Now I’m an addict and hoard it from my family without mercy. Every man for himself when it comes to the marrow.
I have been wondering one thing while reading your post: You grew up in Azerbaijan yet you are clearly a native english speaker. How did you come by your english?
Thanks for the great site!

52 Sofya February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi Lisa, thanks for your kind words! My family fights fiercely for bone marrow also!

I am flattered that you think I am a native English speaker, but English is my second language, and I also speak a little German and French and very fluent Bulgarian, while my first language is Russian. I have gone to college in English however, the American University in Bulgaria to be precise, and have lived in the US ever since the graduation – that is for the past ten years. To be honest my spoken English is better than my native Russian at this point because I haven’t spoken it in years, not on the day to day basis.

To answer your question though, all of the English I learned before college – which was so good that I could take the SAT and win a full scholarship to college with my scores – all of that I taught myself with the help of textbooks, regular books, and dictionaries. It took about one year to learn it. I just happened to be an extremely fast learner, in that and most other areas.

53 Lisa February 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Sofya – I am impressed by your english, then! It sounds very natural, particularly in the humour. I am also impressed with your borscht! We ate it last night and it was truly delicious. I grew up in a heavily Ukrainian/Polish neighbourhood of Toronto, so borscht and I have crossed paths a few times, but this recipe of yours was a different creature – meaty and rich and hearty, rather than the thin soup I’m used to. Roasting the beets I think added a new dimension too, although it took a lot of lemon (and some fresh garlic right at the end) to tame their intense sweetness. I will be making this again!

54 Sofya February 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I am so glad!

55 Bob February 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

Wow! Sofya! I can tell your recipe for Borscht will be absolutely delicious, and reflect the heart and soul of Russia! I can’t wait to make a big pot and serve it to my friends. Two questions: where on earth do you find an “arm roast” – I’ve never even seen one, and, if I can’t find and arm roast, is there a substitute for the bone marrow? I want this recipe to be the best, so let me know if I really need to find an arm roast.

Several years ago, I was in Sitka, Alaska having lunch with my wife and several friends. We were in a small mom & pop restaurant. Homemade Borscht was on the menu and one of my friends and I ordered a bowl. It was absolutely fabulous! Rich, with a flavor so deep and delicious it was as good as anything I’d ever had. When I asked our waitress about it, she said it was made by her 80 year old grandmother from Russia, and was a favorite dish of the town. I was lucky to have gotten a bowl! Reading your recipe, my mouth just waters! I’ll let you know how it comes out. Thanks! Bob

56 Sofya February 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Arm roast is something you get when you have a cow butchered but a chuck roast and short ribs will make a good substitute for soup bones and arm roast. You do not have to have marrow.

57 Lisa February 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I used beef shank, which shouldn’t be too hard to find although you may have to ask a butcher – it’s kind of a scrap cut, I think, so usually not out on display with the porterhouses, etc. It’s cheap, and perfect for long simmering because it gets more tender instead of more tough with long, low-temperature cooking. Good luck Bob!

58 Tina February 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I decided to make this for a dinner party tomorrow night. However, since I plan to serve meat in the main entree, I wanted to make the soup without meat. If I made the broth with only soup bones, will it taste as good? Also, if I use packaged broth, would I still need to boil it with the onion, cerilac, and cloves? How much packaged beef broth should I use? Thanks for your help!

59 Sofya February 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hi Tina,

That should work. 1)Bones alone will be fine for making stock. 2)Packaged broth is also fine – I think I would use two quarts or even three – depending on how much you are going to make. In that case you do not need to boil it with the root vegetables. Just go ahead and use it straight from the carton. This recipe makes A LOT but it does freeze well.

60 Barbara February 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

cnacebo! [just pretend that was in Russian]. I am making the soup again following your recipe to a T (m). It was hard to find celeriac, but my husband found one at a health food/natural food store. I had some grass fed beef “pet” bones (they will get the bones,but without the marrow) that I used along with a roast (chuck). I just tasted the final product (smack thumb and index finger throwing the kiss to the room!). I took just enough Russian to really enjoy a trip there back in 1985 and develop a love for Russian literature. I just finished Anna Karenina and I can just see Kitty at Levin’s making borscht for her growing brood.

61 Sofya February 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Hi Barbara,

I take it the borscht met your expectations! Your stock choices sound great (marrow is really pretty secondary here – it’s the bones themselves that you need, and the meat). The celeriac is a lovely addition – but I would say it’s optional. You can sub it with an extra turnip or a parsnip.

62 Karen March 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Alright, I just finally made this and it took all day but it was worth it! And you were right about the bone marrow. I am officially hooked. I love how the sour cream pulls it all together!! I added dill instead of parsley at the suggestion of a few other recipes I found, and I also used red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. I’m excited to have leftovers for DAYS! ???????!!

63 Sofya March 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

It does make a ton which I think is good considering the effort – and it freezes beautifully!

64 Annette Ogrodnik Corona March 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hello Sofya!

I am a brand new subscriber to your blog—-and I am very excited about it! I am of Ukrainian heritage—my grandparents coming to America in 1909. I have been a published food magazine writer for many years and I recently had my first cookbook published by Hippocrene Books, NY, called “The New Ukrainian Cookbook”. It introduces readers to the fresh foods, hospitality and generous spirit of the Ukrainian table. Take a look if you have a chance—it is available in bookstores and on-line. But, I am really writing about your borshch recipe. It is a delight to see—-and very similar to my own personal recipe (there are 7 recipes included in my cookbook from different regions of Ukraine). In fact, in a few minutes, I am headed downstairs to make a pot…no kidding! I make a soup pot full nearly every week…I like a bowl for lunch — and my husband (of Italian/Slovak heritage) sometimes has some, but not often (so much the better for me!). Borshch is my favorite soup…healthy and filling. Thank you so much for this blog. I am really looking forward to following it. Many Blessings!………………..Annette Ogrodnik Corona

65 Sofya March 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Thanks for stopping by, and your for your cookbook mention!

66 Nicole Heiser April 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I decided a few weeks back that I wanted to try my hand at Russian cuisine. I stumbled across your site and bookmarked it for my next batch of bone broth. My husband and I are blown away and it isn’t even finished cooking yet!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!! This Italian and her German have happy bellies tonight!!

67 susan August 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Hey, some of us still use email. but i see email is not an option on your various links. how come? i would have liked to email this recipe to my boyfriend aka the chef of the family.

68 Sofya August 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Just copy the link from the top and send it to him.

69 Joli Hart September 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

I this was so delicious! I was so excited to make it that i couldn’t wait for celeriac and parsnips to come into season, so i simply did without. So tasty, nutritious and filling! After 2 bowls each we still had 3.5 quarts leftover (i halved the recipe as there are only 2 and a half of us). Instead of adding bullion to the stock i simply added a pint of previously made beef stock from my stores to get it a bit beefier, it was perfect. Thanks so much for this recipe, it will certainly be in my rotation for the long haul. :-)

70 TheGreatZambini January 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I love borscht so much! It’s definitely my favorite soup. Or is pho? Anyways, it’s my favorite Winter soup. As this is a real Russian person’s recipe, I knew it was going to be different, but it’s sad that there are no specifics on the beets. My impression was that borscht was supposed to have tons of different beets going in, as I have heard that it is a crop sold in many varieties in Russia. Can you give me any ideas on the types of beets to use? Or does it not really matter?

71 Sofya February 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Red beets, the darker, the better! Not orange ones.

72 Irina March 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm

O wow, I just discovered this incredible recipe from a link from Natasha’s Kitchen. I love your recipes!
Beautiful pictures! I read over your recipe on borscht and like your version a lot.  I just posted a recipe for borscht on my website and it’s amazing how different the prep can be. I think everybody’s borcht recipe is different. In fact, my borscht from week to week might even taste different! Borscht just has that reputation. Cheers from a fellow Russian.

73 Chris March 26, 2014 at 12:10 am

Sofya, one word. Glorious! I am a former Chef and I LOVE being inspired even to this day. I have to say, you have done so. I love, love, LOVE rustic foods. Everyone is an astounding cook in my family. My Grandmother (Pennsylvannia German) who was a fantastic cook fixed Borscht quite often and I enjoyed it even as a kid. But it was my Grandfather whose crazy cookery sometimes left me speechless. He came over to the Americas from Germany in the very early 30′s after an unsuccessful stint in the experiment that was early Soviet Russia. Having suffered immensely during those troubled times, his obsession with food once here wasn’t too hard to understand. He was very secretive about his past, but sometime things shone through, One was his ability to cook. I only doubted him one time, when my Grandmother went off on a short trip to visit relatives and I was left with him to “sink or swim” for our meals and swim we did! I learned more about the old world way of eating in one day than I could of imagined possible. I ate things that day I never knew EXISTED! It has colored my entire life and outlook on food since. This recipe took me right back and got me revv’d up! And we have a brand new gigantic wood fired oven to make Pizzas, roast beets and cook Bosnian Sarma in whole, hollowed out pumpkins too! Spaciba!

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