Ukrainian Borscht by Yevhen

READY IN: 1hr 45mins
SERVES: 12-16




  • Fill a large stock pot with 3-4 liters (a gallon) of water, add salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, chili pepper and bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile, wash your veggies, drain and rinse beans, peel and grate carrots, chop potatoes, onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Chop onions finely, grate carrots on coarse grater, crush and chop garlic cloves.
  • Wash the beets (separate and discard the leafy part) and add them whole and unpeeled to boiling water. While they boil on low heat, sauté in a heavy skillet with vegetable oil on medium heat chopped onion and grated carrots, until onion are golden. Add chopped garlic cloves and finely chopped red bell pepper, let them release flavor and add whole jar of tomato paste to the skillet. Stir well, and mix to blend the tomato paste in completely. Allow to sauté a few more minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • At this time your beats should be cooked already (depending on their size - usually 15-20 mins of cooking for medium sized ones), so remove them from boiling water and set aside to cool off. Add the rinsed white beans to boiling water and lower the heat.
  • Now you chop potatoes and shred the cabbage as fine as you can. Wash parsley and dill, chop and set aside. Add potatoes and onions/carrots/garlic/bell pepper mix to boiling water, stir well and continue to cook on low heat. Beets by now should be cool enough to handle, peel gently and grate them on coarse grater. Add to borsch along with 2 tablespoons of vinegar (helps to retain that beautiful beet color and gives a slight acidic kick). Immediately add your shredded cabbage, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add chopped parsley and dill, and more chopped garlic if you wish, and simmer covered for additional 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and it's done. Let it sit covered for an hour or so to allow all the flavors to blend. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a few pinches of chopped parsley and dill.
  • Drop a shot of ice-cold pepper vodka and enjoy your borsch in good health!