Traditional Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup

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Traditional Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup This soup is a traditional soup that is very common in many European countries. I know this because it is something that is familiar to two of my sisters. In 2006 my family hosted two beautiful little girls from Ukraine during their visit to the states. We knew right away that God had planned for them to be part of our family all along. In 2007 they became my sisters and have been ever since.


It is strange to talk about it now because it seems like so long ago. I never think about the fact that we have only been sisters for half of our lives. You would never know that they were not born into our family if you met them. People tell us all the time that we look so much alike. They are as much gringas as I am.

I’ve never tried making borscht before, but we had all the ingredients so it seemed like the perfect time to try it. It is already a very red soup but instead of green cabbage and white onions I happened to have red cabbage and red onions. It made the soup even darker. You could just call this “A Whole Lot of Red Soup” I can see why it is such a traditional dish in Europe. It is so cheap to make and so healthy.


This recipe may not be as welcome in households with picky eaters. Mostly because of the color. I don’t know about you and your family but in my house there are a lot of visual picky eaters. Meaning that they will only try things that  look good to them, regardless of what it tastes like. My youngest siblings will decide whether or not they like something prior to tasting it. It is so frustrating! I keep saying that I am going to get blindfolds to cover their eyes before they taste things because then they would eat way more things. This soup is really good and I think my entire family would like it but I won’t sugarcoat it and tell you they do. I did, however, get my little sister to try it when I told her about the sour cream that goes on top. You see, she has this thing for sour cream. I think she would eat a bowl of it by itself if we let her. She loved the fact that it turned the soup pink when you stirred it in. She is a very girly 5-year-old. She really liked the soup.

Traditional Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 10

Traditional Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup


  • 6 cups chicken stock, beef stock, or vegetable stock for vegetarians
  • 3 medium beets, washed well
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  • salt and papper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • sour cream for topping (optional) Try making it homemade


  1. Place beets in a large pot and fill with just enough water to cover them. Cover pot and boil until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove beets from pot to a plate or cutting board and set aside to cool.
  2. Add broth, carrots,and potatoes to beet water and boil covered for about 15 minutes, then add onions, garlic, cabbage, and diced tomatoes.
  3. Peel and slice the cooked beets and add to pot. Cook until the beets lose their color, about 30 minutes. Add tomato sauce, sugar, dill, salt, and pepper then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot topped with sour cream


Many recipes for borscht add sausage or beef. Feel free to add meat of any kind or even beans if you are a vegetarian.


  1. Sean says

    It lists broth and then doesn’t use it? Also, where did garlic come from? And “cook” for another 30 mins, is kinda vague

  2. Sue says

    This soup was a hit at our gourmet Russian dinner. Most had seconds! I would definitely make it again. I used fresh dill instead of dried dill. I used crushed tomatoes as an alternative to tomato sauce. I used 1 litre of low salt veg stock and 500mls of water instead of 1.5 litres of stock. I also added 3 bay leaves to enrich flavour. It was a wonderful soup. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tori says

      Thank you so much Sue! I am thrilled to know that you made this recipe and it was enjoyed at your dinner. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!


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