Russian Borscht

Russian Borscht
Staff Writer

Photo Modified: Flickr/liz west

Borscht, or some variation of it, has been a mainstay of peasant food all over Eastern Europe and Russia. In the winter, the soup is served hot and may contain beets, carrots, and potatoes or other root vegetables; in the summer, the same soup (usually called chlodnik*) may be served icy cold and mixed with cream, yogurt, or buttermilk and garnished with sliced radishes, beet greens, cucumbers, lemon slices, and hard-boiled eggs.

Serve this soup hot or cold. Purée it or leave the vegetables whole.


  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 pounds beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped dill, for garnish


  • Handheld immersion blender


In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Place the onion, beets, potato, carrot, and water in a 7-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork.

Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the vegetables until smooth. Add salt to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream and fresh dill.

Russian Shopping Tip

Choose raw fruits, vegetables, and meats, and unprocessed foods.

Russian Cooking Tip

Substitute butter for olive oil, and bake, broil, or grill instead of fry.