Russian Borscht Recipe

I bet you didn’t know I lived in Russia for 5 months of my life.  Living there was one of the most challenging, but most rewarding times of my life.  I taught English at a Russian kindergarten in Varonezh.  I fell in love with the kids and with the people as well as with the simple and fresh foods that Russians eat.  When I was there about 15 years ago, all food was made from scratch (or purchased from vendors who made it from scratch).  The babushka or grandma would generally go to the store nearly every day to get fresh food that for days meal.  In the family I was staying with, the grandma had a lovely garden in which we ate from every day.  Oh, how I miss those simple and carefree days!

With that said, no one in my family likes beets, so I’ve never made the effort since I’ve been married to make a good borscht recipe.  But when I started having some pregnancy digestive issues, my midwife suggested I make beets part of my diet again.  The first thing that popped into my mind was, of course, I could make borscht!

As far as I can tell this recipe it pretty close to authentic and tastes like what I had in Russia so many years ago.  It is naturally gluten and dairy free (if you use soy sour cream) which fits in nicely with our lifestyle.  You can pretty much use any meat in this soup.  I used keilbasa, but pork, ground beef, sausage, steak, or chicken would taste great too!

Russian Borscht Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 15 cups

Serving Size: 2 cups

Russian Borscht Recipe


  • 16 oz. kielbasa (or your choice of meat)
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and shredded in the food processor
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium head red cabbage, shredded
  • 8 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For garnish, 1/2 cup sour cream (or soy sour cream) and 2 T fresh or dried parsley


  1. Cut kielbasa in bite sized pieces. Fill a large french dutch oven or large pot with 2 quarts of water (you could also use vegetable broth) and bring to a boil. Add the kielbasa, beets and cook until beets are soft and supple (and have lost some of their color). Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Add the cabbage and fire roasted tomatoes.
  2. In a separate frying pan, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add tomato paste and 3/4 cup vegetable broth until blended. Add to the french dutch oven or pot. Add the garlic to the soup and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and sugar (if deisred).
  3. Serve with sour cream and fresh parsley.

This soup makes enough for more than 10 servings and can be frozen after it cools.  Simply ladle into freezer bags and enjoy within 6 months.  I’m still enjoying mine!  Please post a comment if you have any questions about this borscht recipe and I would be happy to answer it.


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