This brightly colored Borscht Soup is a classic recipe from Belarus. Made with beets, potatoes, tomatoes and more, it is best served with sour cream, dill, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, even a hard-boiled egg!
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During the summer of 2017, I worked part-time as a waitress at an upscale restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The food at this place was DELICIOUS, and they were especially famous for their awesome soups, particularly their cream of mushroom.
Every day that there was a new soup on the menu was a great day, because it meant I got to try something new (plus, the soups were the only things the servers were allowed to eat without paying… That summer, I ate A LOT of soup.)
One day, I saw a soup on the menu that I had never heard of before… Borscht. When I asked one of the food runners how I should describe it to customers he said “it’s a cold beet soup… we serve it with hard-boiled eggs.”
If I could have run out of the restaurant at that very second, I would have run faaaarrrr away from this soup. Everything about that description made me anxious. Cold soup? Made out of beets? Topped with eggs?!?! No thank you!!!!
So, of course, the Borscht Soup was the only soup that summer that I didn’t try.
Borscht Soup from Belarus
Now here we are. It’s Belarus week, and Belarusians LOVE their Borscht. So, I swallow my pride, employ Mama Foreign Fork to help grate me up some beets, and throw a pot on the stove.
This soup is bomb. The color is gorgeous; the taste is delicious, and I am quite the fan! So, my readers, don’t run from this soup. Embrace it. Try it. It’s delicious and you’ll thank me for this advice.
What is Borscht Soup?
I’m going to try to describe this better than my coworker did two years ago. Borscht is made by simmering beets, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes on the stove with some broth. Eventually, the vegetables break down, the soup thickens, and out comes a thick, yummy soup that is the most beautiful color I have ever seen.
Now, Borscht soup is a Belarusian/Russian dish, so it has an acidic taste. The beets mixed with tomatoes and apple cider vinegar give a different flavor profile than I’m used to in my soups, but it’s incredible! This acidity is great to enjoy, but the toppings on the soup can help bring your soup to your level of comfort.
What Ingredients are In this Recipe?
Apple cider vinegar
Hard boiled eggs
Fresh dill weed for garnishment
For full ingredient measurements and step by step instructions, visit the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
How to Make this Recipe
In a large pot, melt the butter. Cook garlic and onion in the butter until translucent, or about 5 minutes.
Add the beets and carrots to the pot along with the broth.
Cover and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Stir in potatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the soup reduces and gets a bit thicker.
About five minutes before the soup is done, add the tomatoes.
Garnish with sour cream, fresh dill, and a hard boiled egg. Enjoy!
Is Borscht Soup Served Cold or Hot?
Honestly, I liked either. I think I’m a little more partial to the warm borscht, but you can serve it either way!
Some recipes for borscht can include meat or fish. If you choose to add any of those additions to this recipe for Borscht soup, you may want to serve the soup hot.
However, if you follow the recipe as is, keeping it purely vegetarian, I would advocate for you to eat it cold. Whenever I’ve seen Borscht Soup served in restaurants, it has always been cold as well.
How to Serve Borscht
As mentioned above, you can serve your soup hot or cold, depending on personal preference.
Arguably even more important is the toppings! You can choose to top your Borscht Soup with whatever you’d like, but I would recommend some fresh dill, a dollop of sour cream, and some chopped hard boiled eggs.
When topping the soups, make sure to ladle them into individual bowls and distribute the toppings from there. You don’t want to add the toppings to the entire pot of soup, or they may sink or be lost by the time the entire pot is eaten.
My brother likes to mix his soup together to spread that sour cream throughout the entire bowl! If you’d prefer to eat your soup without toppings, you can do that as well!
How Do You Shred Beets for Borscht?
To shred your beets for your Borscht Soup, peel the beets using a vegetable peeler. Take care not to wear any clothes that you care a lot about, as the beets will dye your hands red and it can easily stain clothing as well.
Once the beets are peeled, use a cheese grater to grate them. Use the largest side of the cheese grater, and rub the beet along the side of it, the same motion you would use to shred cheese! Your beets are now grated.
Try making this Borscht Soup yourself! If you do, post a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!!
If you want to try some more Foreign Fork recipes, make sure to check out these recipes I’ve picked out just for you:
- Escudella (Andorran Meat Stew)
- Mantiabour Soup from Armenia
- Algerian Chickpea Stew
- 8 Easy Soup Recipes from Around the World
- Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot
- Fish Soup from Cambodia
- Strawberry Kissel from Belarus
- Potato Pancakes from Belarus
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tbsp garlic
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 medium beets, peeled and shredded
- 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 medium idaho potatoes, cubed
- 1 large tomato, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp dried dill
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- Hard boiled eggs
- Fresh dill weed for garnishment
- In a large pot, melt butter. Cook garlic and onion in the butter until translucent, or about 5 minutes.
- Add the beets and carrots to the pot along with the broth.
- Cover and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Stir in potatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the soup reduces and gets a bit thicker.
- About five minutes before the soup is done, add the tomatoes.
- Garnish with sour cream, fresh dill, and a hard boiled egg. Enjoy!