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Feb 4, 2008 08:11 PM

Share your favorite borscht recipe!!

I am an absolute beet addict and am looking to make a big pot of borscht next week. I've never made it before and haven't really had it enough to know what I like/don't like. I'd prefer a hot recipe, since it's still February! In the absence of your favorite recipe, I'd love to hear what you think makes a great borscht. Spasiba!

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  1. There is a huge number of variations, of course. I usually make a vegetarian one, even though I'm not a vegetarian. I would say that the single, most important, absolutely manditory thing - and something not everyone does - is to roast the beets before doing anything. It intensifies their flavour, and they will hold their colour better. I roast them at 300F; time depends on the size, but 40-60 minutes is enough. Allow them to cool to room temperature, peel them, and cut them into quarters/sixths/eighths, again, depending on size. While your beets are roasting, begin breaking down your onions, carrots, parsley roots, celery root, cabbage (and mushrooms - optional), and saute these in butter with a little salt and pepper, pepper corns, and allspice berries. After these have softened, about 10-15 minutes, add a bit of tomato paste, and integrate that, and cook for about 5 more minutes. While you are roasting the beets and sauteing the vegetables, make a broth with onions, parsley root, celery root, cabbage (and whatever meat and/or bone you are using, if any), and once done, discard the vegetables from the broth. Throw your sauteed vegetables (along with the pepper corns and allspice berries) into the pot, along with a bay leaf, potatoes (optional), white beans (optional), some tinned tomatoes (crush in your hand before adding) and simmer for about 40 minutes. It should be thick enough that you can stand a wooden spoon in it. When it's done, you can leave it chunky, or puree it, if it's vegetarian. At this point, serve with sour cream, dill, and a little crushed garlic.

    If you're using meat, you can use any of: pork short ribs; ham bone; smoked pork hock; beef chuck; stewing chicken/duck/goose; leftover carcass from a roast.

    I generally serve borsht with garlic bread.

    I hope that that helps.

    1. This thread has a link to a Saveur recipe if you scroll to the end, and perhaps you will enjoy the discussion too.

      1. I know how crazy this sounds but it's quick and delicious. I make a vat of it every summer when the beets are in:

        a bunch of fresh beets (you’ll use 2 large for the soup, the rest for dicing)
        3 cans beef stock plus 2 cups water 2 teasp sugar
        3 teasp fresh lemon juice, skinned
        one small-to-medium cuke
        skip the salt -canned broth is salty
        1 cup sour cream (which tastes best) sour half and half or low fat sour cream
        chopped fresh dill

        1) Wash, trim and scrape 2 large beets. Dice them into a saucepan, add stock and water. Boil and simmer 45 min. Cook the other beets whole in water and chill to use to dice into finished soup.

        2) Strain. Discard used beets (except the ones you’ve saved) Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Add sour cream and most of the dill and put in a blender till blended. Chill.

        3) Cut peeled and seeded cuke into fine dice or julienne and add. Ladle soup into chilled cups and top with another bit of sour cream and some sprigs of dill. Serves 6.

        1. Borscht
          Serves: 6

          Beet borscht is a traditional soup common in Russian, Ukrainian, and Jewish cooking.
          As served at the Russian Tea Room, New York City.
          The RTR, as addicts called the place, opened as a tea room in the 1020’s and closed July 27, 2002 less than three years after its spectacular but ill-fated $30 million renovation.


          • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
          • 1 cup shredded carrots
          • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
          • 1 parsnip, finely chopped
          • - water
          • 1 Tablespoon butter
          • 3 cups beef broth
          • 1½ cups julienne strips of raw beets
          • 1½ cups shredded cabbage
          • 1 cup tomato sauce
          • - salt
          • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
          • - sour cream (garnish)


          1. In a black cast iron pot, barely cover carrots, onion, celery and parsnip with boiling water.
          2. Cover pot and allow vegetables to simmer for 15 minutes.
          3. Add butter, stock, beets, cabbage and tomato sauce.
          4. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender but still keep their shape.
          5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
          6. Heat through then ladle into bowl, with sour cream on the side.