Authentic Ukrainian Borsch

9 Jan

Ukrainian Borsch

Yes, I spell it without the “t”!  Ukrainian and Russian people pronounce it  “Borsch”, Polish people  –  “Barszcz”.  The English way of spelling  “borscht” just doesn’t sound right to me.  How do you feel if you were to hear someone say “Soupt”?  Sounds odd, isn’t it?  I also will claim that this version is authentic since this is how my family in Ukraine made it for generations; this is as hard-core Ukrainian as it gets 🙂  The only substitution I made was to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

This borsch is meatless as I made it for our Christmas Eve meal on Sunday.  I personally can’t eat this dish where beets lost their colour.  So if you follow each step in the directions below your borsch will have this deep ruby colour even after you’ll reheat it several times.  It always tastes better the following day!

If you are a meat-eater – make it with some succulent pork ribs, it will take your  borsch to another level of deliciousness 🙂


  • 3 medium beets (or 1 large beet), boiled, peeled and grated
  • 3-4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 green or red pepper, grated (I do it in a food processor)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 1 medium cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream and fresh chopped dill to garnish


  1. Boil the beets with their skins on until tender.  Let them cool, then peel and grate.  Add the vinegar, mix well and set aside. The vinegar will preserve the red colour in the hot borsch.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and pepper and cook until tender for up to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage, diced potatoes, the can of diced tomatoes, and water until well blended.  Let it boil for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Now you can add the beets, beans, and the raw garlic.  Cover and turn off the heat, let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish individual bowls with sour cream and dill.

36 Responses to “Authentic Ukrainian Borsch”

  1. Mimi January 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Very good informationt !

  2. Vicky Nanjappa January 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    great one 🙂

  3. Boomdeeadda January 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Mmmmmmmm I think I could easily live on Borsch and bread. My husband is not a fan, so I make it to freeze in containers that serve a couple of bowls. I don’t know where I originally got my recipe, but it doesn’t include beans, potatoes or peppers but that might be something to try. Yes, always sour cream & dill!!!!

    • The Kat and The Falling Leaves January 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      You are about sour cream and dill! We put sour cream and dill on almost everything! Salads and soups must have them. Pancakes and varenyky (pierogi) – just add sour cream.
      Borsch and bread are my comfort food 🙂

  4. Rexlin Victor January 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm #


  5. catnipoflife January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I have grown beets, canned beets, picked beets but I never learned to LIKE beets! 🙂 Your recipe, however, has tempted my palate!

  6. missflamboyante January 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Sounds and looks rich,delicious and healthy, plus it is vegetarian – I am actually getting hungry here ;D

  7. dearferrero January 11, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Dear lord, that borsch looks delicious! I am making this tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

  8. PotSoup January 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    This reminds me of Vitaly from Madagascar 3

  9. Marisa - PictureRealFood January 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    This looks delicious! I love borsch, though I’m sure your recipe is better than the one I usually make. Thanks for the great instructions. 🙂

  10. vatelechuza January 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Thanks Kat, I’ll try doing ‘Borsch’ 🙂 ( Your cat seems one of mine 🙂 ) (You could see her on my blog , her name Miss Olivia)

  11. Our Ukrainian Adoption January 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Thank you for this recipe!! I can’t wait to make it for my kiddos when they come home – I’m sure they will thank you too! 🙂

  12. soscookingadventures January 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Hey! I am doing a project of cooking dishes from around the world. Could we email about Ukrainian cuisine sometime? I would love to learn more!

  13. aoheda January 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Hey, thanks for checking out my post. 🙂 I had a conversation with someone just the other day about the completely unnecessary T in borscht! And my cat, Katya, looks very much like yours, but with a black nose. Great blog!

    • The Kat and The Falling Leaves January 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      You have a great blog!
      My Russian and Ukrainian friends are always b#$%$g about that “T”, lol. Good to know we are not alone 🙂
      I like your cat’s name!

  14. wiolakk February 18, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Oh, this is something new for me: a green or red pepper. I think I need to try your version someday. However I cannot imagine my borsch without bay leaves and allspice addition 🙂
    Do you add sometimes a beetroot leaven to the borsch? To any version of it?

    • The Kat and The Falling Leaves February 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      I add bay leaves sometimes; never tried adding allspice. My aunt used to add baby beetroot leaves to what we call “young borsch” / “молодий борщ”.

      • wiolakk February 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

        It is probably what we call “botwinka” 🙂


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