Classic Borscht

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Classic Borscht


  • 3 medium beets, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 8 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
  • 3 medium yukon potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

For Zazharka (Mirepoix):

  • 2 celery ribs, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped, optional
  • 1 medioum onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup or 3 Tbsp tomato sauce

additional flavorings

  • 1 can white cannellini beans with their juice
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar or to taste
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 3 Tbsp chopped dill


  1. Peel, grate and/or slice all vegetables (keeping sliced potatoes in cold water to prevent browning until ready to use then drain).

  2. Heat a large soup pot (5 1/2 Qt or larger) over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated beets and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beets are softened. 

  3. Add 8 cups broth and 2 cups water. Add sliced potatoes and sliced carrots then cook for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

  4. While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Saute stirring occasionally until softened and lightly golden (7-8 minutes). Add 4 Tbsp Ketchup and stir fry 30 seconds then transfer to the soup pot to continue cooking with the potatoes.

  5. When potatoes and carrots reach desired softness, add 1 can of beans with their juice, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 3 Tbsp chopped dill. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes and add more salt and vinegar to taste.


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