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Ukrainian Meatless Beet Soup Recipe - Borshch

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Ukrainian Beet Borshch

Ukrainian Beet Borshch

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Ukrainian meatless beet soup or borshch has a little tomato paste in it besides cabbage, onions and other vegetables. This meatless version of Ukrainian beet soup is served on fast days and for Christmas Eve when it is part of the traditional sviat vechir or svyat vechir, a traditional 12-dish meal. A kolach, or a braided, ring-shaped bread, symbolic of eternity and life, serves as a centerpiece for the meal, but is not eaten until Christmas Day because it contains eggs, which are not eaten during Advent.

Here is a larger photo of Ukrainian Meatless Beet Soup or Borshch.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups Ukrainian Beet Borschch


  • 3 raw red beets
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large peeled and diced carrot
  • 1 large potato peeled and diced (optional)
  • 1/2 peeled and julienned parsley root
  • 1 diced celery rib
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 head shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons beet kvas or white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • More chopped dill for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook beets in boiling water just until the skins alip off easily. Place in cold water and, when cool enough to handle, peel. Cut beets into thin strips and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, pour enough boiling water to cover over dried mushrooms and let soak for 1 hour. Remove from soaking liquid and chop. Strain soaking liquid and reserve.

  3. In a soup pot, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add carrots, potato (if using), parsley root, celery rib, peppercorns, mushrooms, strained mushroom soaking liquid, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are al dente. Add shredded cabbage and cook until tender.

  4. Add kvas or vinegar or lemon juice to give the soup its characteristic sour taste, tomato paste, dill, cooked beans (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes longer and serve hot with sour cream and dill garnish. It is traditional to serve rolls with garlic oil on the side.
User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Borshch, Member lada2

Most Ukrainians do not use tomato paste for borshch, because then it tastes like tomato soup. The tomato taste overpowers the beet taste. Also, note that in Ukrainian, this soup's name is ""borshch"" (no ""t""). Finally, if you're not eating the kolach on Sviat Vechir because of the egg, then you wouldn't be adding sour cream to the borshch either - the meal is vegan (unless you're fudging it - but then you would eat the kolach too). Good recipe otherwise!

2 out of 2 people found this helpful.

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