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Borscht or borscht is a vegetable soup from Eastern Europe, which is traditionally cooked including beetroot as a main ingredient which gives it a strong red colour. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and the green (zelioni) borscht (sorrel soup).

  • Makes/Serves
  • 6
  • Preparation Time
  • 20 mins
  • Cook | Chill | Freeze
  • 2 hrs
  • Oven Temperature
  • N/A
  • Oven Setting
  • N/A
  • Freeze
  • Yes


  • 500g beetroot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced (white part only)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 1½ lt vegetable or beef stock
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • Baguette slices, to serve


  1. Place the beetroot, carrot, parsnip, leek, onion, lemon juice, spices and bay leaves in a large saucepan with the stock.
  2. Bring to the boil, then partially cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Cool slightly before blending in batches and season well with salt and pepper. (If you have a stick blender that can withstand hot liquids, use this, as beetroot stains easily and will stain a plastic blender, not to mention your hands.)
  4. Return to the heat and gently heat through.
  5. Serve in deep bowls with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped dill and bread of your choice.