close up of classic beef borscht in bowl with sour cream and fresh dill

Classic Beef Borscht (video)

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Today, I’m sharing the star dish from my newest cookbook, Beyond Borscht! Straight off the cover – my classic beef borscht! This Eastern European and Russian beet soup is made with tender chunks of beef tri-tip, potatoes, cabbage, loads of veggies and of course, beets! This delicious tomato based soup is hearty, warming and perfect anytime of year! This traditional recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and I have enjoyed this incredible recipe since childhood!

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Watch my video recipe for step-by-step instructions for making this delicious Eastern European soup recipe! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and myΒ YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

How to Make Borscht

After making this soup for decades, I’ve perfected and simplified the process down to one pot to make this soup effortless and delicious! I like to start with the meat first. This beet soup can be made with beef, chicken, pork or even lamb. If you are using chicken or pork, consider using chicken broth instead of beef broth.

  • Brown the meat all over and season generously with salt and pepper. Once browned, remove the meat from the pot, add butter and prepare a simple mirepoix – onions, carrots and celery. Later, add in the garlic and spices – I like to toast the spices briefly to really bring out the aromas!
  • Next, add the beets, tomato sauce, broth, water and seasonings and let the soup simmer away for 1 hour. This longer cook time allows the soup to develop a really rich and deep flavor and makes the beef extra tender!
  • Once the soup has cooked for an hour, add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. I really like to use baby or young potatoes – they are more sweet and the soup tastes so great with them!
  • Last, add the shredded cabbage or beet greens, dill and parsley. If you can find beet greens, try using them in place of the cabbage for more flavor and more nutrition!

How to Make Borscht RED

Traditional borscht has a very rich and vibrant red color to it. I often get asked how I make mine so deep red! You can achieve this beautiful color by using lots of beets, tomato sauce and allow the borscht cook for longer. I find that the borscht gets more beautiful in color after about an hour of cooking. The beets release more of their color, and combined with the tomatoes, make the borscht super rich! The longer cooking time also gives the soup more flavor!

Beyond Borscht

This delicious Eastern European recipe is from my newest cookbook, Beyond Borscht. When I was tasked with coming up with the title to my cookbook, I thought of the most iconic Ukrainian or Russian recipe and borscht instantly come to mind! It’s the one dish that many people have heard of or tried. Also, it’s so delicious and a really great example of how incredible the cuisine really is! My new book has 75 recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, main entrees and even some desserts! The book is available starting March 31st, 2020 at Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Powell’s City of Books, IndieBound and other major book retailers. Order your copy today!

Beyond Borscht cookbook with russian beet soup - borscht and rustic bread

Borscht Varieties

Eastern Europe and Russia are vast territories and so there are many different varieties of borscht, including one of my other favorites – ‘Green Borscht’ made without beets with sour sorrel and eggs. Get that recipe in my new cookbook, too! There are also lighter versions with less beets and more tomatoes; versions with chicken or pork; and even varieties that don’t include any cabbage. My dad really likes to make this recipe and adds canned cannellini or kidney beans at the very end. I would love to hear how you make your soup at home! Leave me a comment below!

Note: You can prepare this recipe using chicken, pork or even lamb. Keep the cooking time the same. I recommend going with bone-in chicken thigh or drumsticks. Brown the chicken all over just like the beef and use chicken broth in place of the beef broth. Pork ribs work really well for borscht; use them with veggie or chicken broth. Use beef broth with lamb.

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Classic Beef Borscht video recipe from Beyond Borscht cookbook

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