Simple & delicious traditional Russian Borsch (Борщ) Recipe: my favorite soup!

I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia.
I came to the US when I was 15 and have been missing Russian cuisine ever since.
So..... I learned how to cook to keep myself from going crazy! :)
It makes me very happy to share my recipes with you!

Borsch is one of the most traditional Russian/Ukranian soups.
It is low in fat, easy to make, and super flavorful.
The main ingredient is beetroot, which gives the soup its beautiful red color and lovely flavor.

When I was growing up, we had a shortage of meat, so we made vegetarian borsch.
We learned a nifty trick: adding grilled onions to the soup fools you into thinking you're having chicken/beef broth :)
So it's perfect for those of you following vegetarian/vegan diets!

In English-speaking countries they call/pronounce borsch with a T in the end - borscht.
I googled and learned it is so because in Yiddish they pronounce it with a T. 
But to me that T is simple nonsense, haha. (Can I say this since I'm part Jewish??) :)
It's borsch!!! With no T :)

So here is my recipe, which I learned from my mom when I was growing up.

Let me know what you think and send me your photos if you make it.
It will totally make my day!


Serves 8. Or 4, if you are very hungry :) 

INGREDIENTS (approx. amounts):

12 cups of water 
1-2 potatoes, peeled & diced 
2 medium beetroots, peeled & diced or minced in food processor 
1 medium onion, diced 
2 tbsp unrefined Sunflower Seed Oil (that's the most commonly used oil in Russia/Ukraine), but butter will do if you can’t find Sunflower Seed Oil
2-6 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic), pressed through the garlic press 
a few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
a few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped 
salt to taste
bay leaf + a few peppercorns (best put together in a tea-egg or spice cloth so you don't have loose peppercorns all over the place!)
½  small cabbage, shredded (I sometimes make it without cabbage or potatoes, and it tastes just fine)
Optional: instead of water, use beef or chicken broth, or just add some sort of bone or meat into the soup. It’s all good. Experiment to see what you like best! :) 
Full fat natural sour cream (1 tsp per bowl). Please oh please don't use the low-fat stuff! 

In a big soup pan, sauté/grill the shredded onion for 2-4 minutes in Sunflower Seed Oil (or butter), until soft and golden.

Add shredded beets, potatoes, cabbage and water all at once, then salt and bay leaf/peppercorns. 
Bring to a boil, turn down the flame and simmer for approx. 25 mins (or until potatoes are soft.) 

Taste the borsch and add salt to taste. 
While the soup is simmering, shred the garlic clove, chop the dill & parsley.

Right before you're ready to serve, turn off the flame. Throw the garlic/dill/parsley into the soup.
(Make sure you don't boil the soup once the garlic is in, as garlic changes its flavor once boiled).

The soup is now ready to serve! 

Add a spoon of sour cream to each individual soup bowl.


When you eat Borsch, make sure to say “Priyatnovo Appetita/Приятного Аппетита”, meaning “bon appetit”, in Russian. 

P.S. If you cook the borsch beforehand, it’s a good idea to put the garlic/parsley/dill mix in a covered dish and keep in the fridge & add it to the soup right before serving. 


What did you think this recipe?
Have you cooked any Russian food before?
What other Russian recipes would you like for me to post?
Please leave me a comment below!