Ukranian Peasant Borscht

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

My grandmother always made this borscht in the fall and winter. She never made anything by recipe so this is my version. The kids and neighbors love it and always ask when I'm going to make it again. Or tell me I should have made a bigger pot.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, brown bacon and render fat.
  2. Add beef and brown.
  3. Cut the onion, carrot and celery in half cross-wise and add to pot with beef.
  4. Also add beets whole with skin, shredded cabbage and water.
  5. Add pepper corns and bay leaves.
  6. Bring to boil, then turn heat to medium low, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
  7. After an hour of cooking start boiling potatoes whole (skin on or off your choice) in a separate pot until soft (45 minutes).
  8. When soup is ready turn off heat, with a slotted spoon remove the celery carrot and beets.
  9. Discard celery and carrots or use for something else.
  10. Leave beets on a separate plate or bowl until cool enough to handle (10 min).
  11. Peel and grate beets back into the soup pot.
  12. Add grated carrot.
  13. Bring soup back to boil.
  14. Add vinegar and lemon juice.
  15. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  16. To serve place a boiled potato in bowl and ladle soup on top.
  17. Add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.
  18. Enjoy.
Most Helpful

An excellent example of how looks (and prejudice)can limit our horizons... I've never bought "real" beets before - much less with hugh leaves and roots still attached, or carrots with their long flowing leaves still attached - I hate cooked cabbage - to be quite honest I was given this recipe by a friend as a challenge. I was not very excited about it, but my pride forced me to give the whole adventure a try. Mostly because it was so far out of my element (guess I'm picky - don't really care for most vegetables outside of the usual cucumbers, lettuce, tomato - you get the picture ) So... this was like throwing stuff into a garbage can that was a soup pot. It had a pungent aroma (to me at least) while cooking. I did everything I was supposed to do to it - then let it sit overnight in the frig, because I just couldn't make myself eat it -after making it. The color didn't bother me nearly as bad as trying to fish all the stuff out of the "borscht" that was suppose to come out. I was certain this was so vile it would kill me - Boy - was I ever wrong. This was wonderful... I'm still stunned... AMAZING - just simply amazing. The description was right - I should have made a bigger pot! I could have never guess a more different outcome.

The Thorn of Hudson, FL January 01, 2007

Recipe is super broth heavy. I would recommend reducing the broth by half, or upping the cabbage, beet and vegetable content by at least double. Traditional Borscht is made without meat, but I've always had it with beef added. I used venison, which also works well. Also, as my father always has when making borscht, I leave all the vegetables in, just chopped into bite size pieces. Whole potatoes are cool, but hard for young kids to manage - i would also recommend just cubing those and adding that way. Maybe a bit Americanized, but if this is your main course, as I use it, it needs to be heartier.

lastrohm September 26, 2007

Thanks for such a great tasting soup.I have never had borscht,it was so good.I also have frozen some to have again.

lin1 November 06, 2004