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Feb 16, 2007 10:03 AM

Ukranian borscht recipe from old Saveur?

A few years ago Saveur printed a great recipe for a Ukranian beet/beef borscht. I've lost my copy. Does anyone out there have one they could share with me?



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  1. i've got it... just have to find it in my basement. i just moved a huge stack of back issues downstairs. i'll get back to you...

    1 Reply
    1. This is probably another discussion, but it is maddening to go to the Saveur web site and search for the original article / recipe knowing full well that it is out there, but they do not have it on the site!

      3 Replies
      1. re: jdm

        Just came upon your post -- I just discovered the other day that recipes that used to be on have disappeared... emailed the webmaster yesterday but haven't received any reply. If you go to google you can sometimes find the missing recipe or article -- either because the page is still there or because it's been picked up somewhere else... I'll post again if I get any reply... It seems to be a necessary evil when sites are redesigned... the same thing happened when elle and elle-à-table merged their recipe sites...

        1. re: andrea thurm

          just found this -- go to -- search for "saveur", find 1032 (!!!!) recipes -- also for articles...

          1. re: andrea thurm

            and more important -- just found this on a forum...


            Those of you looking for the baked onion dip recipe, take heart--we'll be posting it tomorrow and you should be able find it by searching for Hot Onion Souffle. Along those lines, please don't despair if you can't find your favorite recipes--we're restoring the recipe archive and posting recipes daily, so keep checking back often!

            The editor has been really great -- as far as I can tell anyone who asks for a lost recipe receives it and quickly... so if there's something you want, I would suggest joining the forums...

      2. Alex-
        It's not a recipie from Saveur, but I'm Ukrainian and have been raised on my mom's delicious vegetarian borsch. If you are interested I can post the recipie.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Marianna215

          Well, I'm not Alex, but I've long been looking for a great ukrainian veggie borscht recipe (the +1 is Ukrainian American). I would be most grateful if you could post your mom's recipe!

        2. Mama's Borsch-
          This is a vegetarian borsch that is a bit on the lighter side, if you'd like meat you can always add kielbasa but this is so good that it doesn't need any. I like to make a bowl at the beginning of the week and keep it for the whole week.

          1. Cook three-four beets in water with their skins on separately until you can prick easily them with a fork. Cool them and peel. Put them through a processor, shredder, or cut them up in strips. *RESERVE THE BEET GREENS TO PUT IN THE BORSCH LATER.*

          2. In a large pot, sweat one onion, garlic, celery and carrot, all peeled and minced;

          3. When the onion is golden, pour in water, about 6-8 cups. Bring to a boil and put in two vegetable boullion cubes, and a small palm-full of black peppercorns, the chopped stems of parley and dill. You can also add a bay leaf if you would like that flavor.

          4. Add one raw cubed beet or cut up into strips; then add one raw potato cut up into cubes. Afterward about a 1/2 a cup of chopped green beans.

          5. After all has come to a boil again, add in the cooked beets. and the chopped beet Greens. (these add a great light flavor)

          6. Add a can of white beans having rinsed them well.

          7. Lower the heat. Add the juice of one lemon and a palm-full of salt ( to taste). (some Ukrainian grandmothers add pickle juice or vinegar instead of lemon juice -- it all depends on the flavor you like.)

          8. Let borsch stand for at least two hours before serving to develop flavor. Heat up before serving but do not let it boil as it will lose its color.

          9. Serve with sour cream, chopped parsley, dill and hard-boiled egg.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Marianna215

            yum, this sounds great! almost exactly like the one I grew up with, too :)
            my mother always used to say that adding a diced potato to the borshch was made it distinctively ukranian, so this recipe gets high marks on authenticity :) (And pickle juice is the only real option, IMHO) we used to save the beet greens for a different soup, though, and didn't add any beans or garlic. strained full fat yogurt is an OK sub for sour cream, and adds a nice tang, though not quite as deluxe.
            this is definitely one of those soups that's best the next day! (salivating)

              1. re: Marianna215

                This thread and your recipe inspired me to make borscht today. I used your recipe as a guide with a couple of changes ( i added some flanken--i like the meat taste, and omitted the white beans, as I didn't have any)

                Also, i was too lazy to boil the beets separately, so i just grated them all raw and threw them in. But i am curious as to why your recipe has some beets boiled separately and then another added raw. I would love to know the reason behind it. Does it end up with a different flavor or texture? Is it a digestive thing? Can you explain?
                Anyway, my soup came out delicous, so thanks very much for your recipe!

                1. re: missmasala

                  I always wondered about that too, but, according to my mom, you cook the beets separately because they loose their color and delicate flavor if they are boiled for a long time. That's why you only add them in at the end, and only at a simmer to bring everything together. You sacrifice a few beets to cook in with the rest of the veggies to color the broth, but if you love beets, then you keep everything separate. When you re-heat you also never bring to a boil - only a light simmer until everything is heated through.
                  I tried cooking everything together when I was in college, and I lost the fresh flavor and texture of the beets, and the broth was a muddier color. Mama always says that good borsch should be the color of a nice (red) wine. :)

                  1. re: Marianna215

                    thanks for the answer. I think mine tastes beety, but next time I'll try it your mom's way!

                2. re: Marianna215

                  Marianna215 - about your mama's recipe - I would like to post it on my website, which is a charity effort for the children. I have a nice litttle collection of borsch recipes there and am looking for genuine Ukrainian recipes. Recipes from home. Could you go to the website and email me from there, under the "About Us" tab is a good place. Would like to know the where and how to's etc. to connect this to Ukraine. Hope to hear from you! Thanks, David Cottrell

                3. has anyone ever tried a vegatarian borsch recipe that doesn't have beets in it? my family's recipie was very very simple but did not have beets in it(just shredded cabbage, diced onions, diced potatoes,diced celery, crushed tomatoes, dill, butter, water, salt n pepper) i've been searching for a similar recipe but haven't found anything yet

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: shanniebell

                    I don't want to question your family recipe, but to me, borscht is, by definition, beet soup (whether or not it's vegetarian). The difficulty you're encountering in finding a similar recipe may be that there are no (very few?) borscht recipes that don't include beets. Maybe if you just looked for a cabbage soup recipe?

                    1. re: Smokey

                      all i know is what my granny and baba called it, but thanks for the suggestion :-)
                      i just checked it out, and it's a vegitarian version of a menonite version of cabbage borsch

                    2. re: shanniebell

                      I wonder if your family was making what's more commonly called shchav (tshav)? It's a soup usu. made with greens. In my family, usu. the beet greens, or chard or sorrel. It's usually made a bit sour, from the natural acidity of the greens or by adding lemon or vinegar--and yes, totally vegetarian. (Eaten cold, at least in our family--as is borshch, if made in the summer)
                      My mother sometimes calls shchav 'summer borsh' because when you harvest the beets, you use the greens right away and then put away the beets for winter.
                      I haven't heard of cabbage shchav (or of using tomatoes), but maybe it's a regional variation or something?

                      1. re: another_adam

                        thanks i'll try looking up varriations on the shchav, as with your family borsh was cold in the summer.