Classic Russian Borscht

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My grandfather’s recipe for classic Russian borscht. It was the one thing he could cook well.


  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups canned tomatoes
  • ½ cup juice (from can of beets)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned beets, diced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • chopped dill or parsley (for garnishing)
  • sour cream
  • salt and pepper as needed


  • a large heavy pan
  • an immersion blender, stand blender, or food processor


  1. In a large heavy pan, melt butter and lightly sauté cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion (approximately 5 minutes.)
  2. Add beef stock.
  3. Using an immersion blender, stand blender, or food processor, blend canned tomatoes until pureed.
  4. Add pureed tomatoes and beet juice to stock.
  5. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are firmly tender but not soft.
  6. Add the chopped beets and vinegar.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat before the beets begin to lose their color.
  8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill or parsley over each bowl.

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Re: Classic Russian Borscht

Nice recipe. Do you serve it hot or cold? I’ve always thought borscht is a soup that is served cold, is this true?

Re: Classic Russian Borscht

Borscht is one of those soups that can be served either hot or cold. Cold is the most common way to serve borscht at least in the US. I am guessing this is version is served hot as it has a lot of vegetables in it. Cold borscht tends to be a thinner vegetarian stock based soup while hot tends to be a heartier soup with lots of potatoes and/or vegetables included.

That said — I am curious too.

Re: Classic Russian Borscht

My Grandfather would always eat this broscht hot. I eat it the same way. It’s great in wintertime.

Re: Classic Russian Borscht