Recipe: Borshch/Borscht Soup from Belarus (Beet Soup with potatoes)

Serves 6

This soup is popular all over eastern Europe, specifically in the Ukraine. This version hails from Belarus where they add big chunks of potatoes. The longer it cooks, the happier this Borshch tastes.


1 large onion, chopped
1-2 large russet potatoes, as desired
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 beets, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 turnips, diced
1/2 a green cabbage, sliced thinly
6 oz can of tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
32 oz beef stock
water as needed
sour cream, for garnish (optional, leave out for vegan)


1. In a large pot, cook onion in vegetable oil until soft and slightly golden. Add the rest of the ingredients, except sour cream. Add water as needed to “cover” all the veggies.

NOTE: I added the beets after the cabbage had some time to cook down, making room in the pot.

3. Bring to a low simmer and cook for at least an hour. I simmered mine for a couple of hours and the flavor was wonderful. Here it is partially through cooking:

4. Ladle into serving bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.

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  1. Congrats on your Belarusian good fortune! Always been a little scare to try beets, this looks amazing! Can’t wait to try this!

    • globaltable says:

      Thanks Dixie… I loved it, but of course it wasn’t a big hit with Mr Picky Eater. Let me know how it goes, if you do make the Borshch

    • Being Russian, I love Borsch, and we have a recipe passed down for generation (well, a couple of generations anyway). I wanted to share a secret ingredient- a tart apple (maybe a few slices) or a slice or two of lemon to add a slightly sour taste and balance out the sugar a little. I believe that both the apple and the lemon should be added at the stage when you are simmering the soup.

  2. Heard about you from a Rick Steves podcast.
    This borscht looks yummy and I’ve got beets and turnips from the CSA.
    One question-I see a potato in the photo and description, but I can’t find the amount of potato called for.

    Any advice?


    • Sasha Martin says:

      Hi Kirsten – sorry about that! 1-2 russets would be good in this soup – I updated the recipe. Report back and let us know how it comes out :)

  3. I made Borshch earlier today and it came out quite lovely:) Being Polish I didn’t have to convince myself to like it, we have our own version without cabbage and turnips, usually. My husband liked it a lot too, and the best part is that there are enough leftovers for tomorrow and beyond, which means I won’t have to cook dinner tomorrow night!:) I used a little more cabbage, since I get carried away chopping it, next time I might put one more beet. Very tasty!

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