Borscht is a delicious steaming bowl of nourishing soup to brighten your mood. Beets give this soup an earthy sweetness (and a vibrant color), while a dash of lemon juice and fresh dill add a hint of freshness.

This borscht recipe is a deliciously hearty soup perfect any time of year. Like a classic chicken noodle soup, it is heartwarming and comforting.

a serving of Hot Borscht in a bowl with sour cream

What is Borscht?

Borscht is a traditional soup hailing from Eastern Europe. It wouldn’t be borscht without beets and some kind of souring ingredient such as wine vinegar or lemon juice. It almost always has shredded cabbage too.

Beyond that, ingredients can vary widely with the addition of beans among many other ingredients, including beef. I include carrots and potatoes and use vegetable stock (although chicken or beef stock will work).

Hot Borscht ingredients in a pot

To Prepare Beets

Borscht (aka borsch) has a deep ruby red color that is incredibly enticing. The color of beets will also stain your hands and/or white cutting boards so I always wear gloves when preparing beets.

While I never peel roasted beets before cooking, in this soup they do need to be peeled.

  • Cut off the beet tops and discard (or save to make sauteed beet greens)
  • Peel beets using a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut into 1″ cubes.

How to Make Borscht

Making borscht is a simple process, simply chop and simmer!

  1. Sauté the beets and other vegetables in oil.
  2. Add the vegetable broth and simmer
  3. Stir in lemon juice and zest and serve hot.

Swirl in a dollop of sour cream in each bowl. The fat in the cream helps balance the acidity of the soup and provides some richness and body. Serve borscht as an appetizer with dinner, or as a light meal with a side of corn muffins, soda bread, or cheese biscuits.

a pot of Hot Borscht

How Long Does Borscht Last?

This recipe is easy to store in the refrigerator or in the freezer for an extended time! And as a bonus, it only tastes better as it sits!  So be sure to make enough for lots of leftovers.

  • In the Refrigerator – Borscht can last for up to four days. You’ll love how the flavors deepen and develop in storage.
  • In the Freezer – Borscht freezes well.  Store it in freezer containers for up to four months. No need to thaw before reheating in the microwave or stovetop on low heat.

scooping a ladle of Hot Borscht

What to Serve with Borscht

  • Topping it with a nice rich full fat sour cream is a must!
  • Fresh dill is a must for topping this recipe
  • Serve it with bread or rolls and butter for dunking.

Comforting Soup Recipes

a serving of Hot Borscht in a bowl with sour cream
4.99 from 56 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Borscht Recipe (Beet Soup)

Beets give this vegetable soup an earthy sweetness, while a dash of lemon juice and zest provide contrasting sour notes.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 red beets peeled and ½ inch diced (approx 1 ½ pounds)
  • 2 carrots ½ inch diced
  • 1 large russet potato peeled and ½ inch diced
  • ½ small green cabbage shaved
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons dill fresh, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • sour cream optional, for serving


  • Add olive oil to a soup pot and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add in the beets, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Stir to combine.
  • Cook for 10 minutes to slightly soften the vegetables.
  • Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Pour in the beef and the vegetable broth and add the bay leaf. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the beets and carrots are tender.
  • Discard bay leaf. Stir in the fresh dill, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Taste and season with the desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.
4.99 from 56 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 157 | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 991mg | Potassium: 920mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3817IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Soup
Cuisine Polish, Ukraine

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. Hi Holly
    I make my Bortch the same way you do…as it is one of the 12 dishes Ukrainians eat Xmas eve. Simple where the Beet flavour shines through. My mom started adding beef and other veggies to her soup which to me takes away from it being a pure Beet soup. I enjoy all your Slavic recipes.5 stars

  2. Growing up in a Russian influenced, German ancestry Mennonite home in western Canada (how is that for a blend of cultures), it was rare that there wasn’t a borsht pot on the back of the wood stove. The term borsht covered several different types of soup. The most common was kumpst borsht or cabbage soup. Beet borsht was next in line, followed by sweet milk borsht and sour milk borsht. I don’t ever remember the beets and cabbage making it into the same pot. My mothers borsht had a very good reputation and she would can many jars of it. When cousins, etc, would come back for a visit, they would make a point of stopping in for a jar or two of Aunt Suzies Borsht. I mention this because all the beet borsht recipes I come across now have cabbage in them.4 stars

  3. I made this without the cabbage and puréed it as an experiment. Had no bay leaves. It was fabulous! I will do it like this always.5 stars

  4. The prep took a little while, and my husband was very hesitant about the smell of the beets… but WOW. Once we served it up the whole family dove in and it is a HUGE HIT! Even my husband loves this. We will definitely be adding this to our regular meals, 10/10.5 stars

  5. My Babka was Polish. Making Beet Soup was my favorite time of the year. Her version had been spareribs for the meat and I remember grating the canned whole beets and waiting in anticipation for my first bowl. She always flavored it with vinegar so seeing a recipe without vinegar makes me curious of how newer version must taste. She always made her homemade dumplings, which in her Beet soup, made it the best soup ever!!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing Kris! My grandma was from Poland and I have such great memories of her food!

  6. There is a common misconception around the heritage of this dish. It is not Russian, it is national Ukrainian soup, and there are many varieties of it. Naming it a Russian dish is an equivalent of naming pizza margherita a French invention. Please, please consider editing the part regarding the origin of this soup.

    Best regards,
    Eugene.5 stars

  7. Was amazing and even better next day I had frozen shredded cabbage worked perfectly and bought shredded carrots (lazy) was bright purple and when I look at my pic on phone makes me hungry good one holly keeper5 stars

  8. Amazing – or so I am told! I don’t eat beets but my husband’s family is Polish and they all raved about it. I loved making it. Takes some time peeling and cubing etc. but I put on some great music and enjoyed spending time preparing a healthy home cooked soup for the family!
    Will definitely make this again.5 stars

  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Now that my Detroit Red Beets are ready for harvest, I used them along with Swiss Chard (instead of cabbage) and chicken broth (I was lacking beef broth) and it came out splendidly. Do not be afraid to improvise! Can’t wait to try this with all the stated ingredients!5 stars

  10. I just harvested some beets from my “covid” garden and was researching beet soup recipes. Found yours and it looks perfect. I’ll give it a try today and see if my boys will eat it. I’ll be fine if they don’t because I know I will. Looking forward to this tasty treat. Thanks.

  11. My Polish grandmother brought a version of this over with her in the 1920’s. We grate the veggies, use beef broth and some beef (soup/stew meat), and also add tomato sauce.

    Although sour cream was always my favorite topping, homemade plain yogurt was often used for economical purposes. Thank you for sharing this recipe; it is a classic I fear will be lost in future generations.5 stars

    1. So happy you enjoyed this recipe Teri. It is honestly one of my favorite recipes! Your grandmother’s additions sound delicious thought, I may have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

  12. My Ukrainian grandmother used to make this for me as a child with some kind of shredded beef.
    This was one of my favorite foods growing up. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Thank you Holly, for providing the recipe.

    Jackie Dowbnia

  13. You have both veggie broth and beef broth in the recipe, but only add the veggie. Is it either or, or did I miss read?