Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup Recipe
My friend's mother from Ukraine taught me this recipe for the classic beet soup. It's as authentic as it gets. It can be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage--and vegan by omitting the sour cream as well.
Had borscht once and I loved it... but then had it at a polish restaurant and hated it! It made me realize there are MANY ways to make borscht and it's very possible your going to like one and not the other. I loved this one because it had pork in it and the earthy beet flavor was not overpowering. The polish borscht i had was very overpowering with beet flavor and i realized that's what i dont' like-- and also why many people probably don't like Borscht. This one, however, was great! I used 2 large hot Italian sausage links out of the casing. Next time I will put 1 more link in there. Not too greasy with the pork... After i dumped the pork in the water, some oil accumulated at the top and i just skimmed it out. For the cabbage, i got pre-shredded coleslaw mix. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly swapping out dill for parsley. It was great! I did try one of the other recommendations of adding a bit of balsamic vinegar at the end - and that was a nice touch. I may also try to add a chicken bullion cub
I made this as an appetizer for Ukrainian Easter, it was really good. I wish it had a deeper beet flavor though. I added some red wine reduction in mine to give it a fuller flavor and to enhance the beets. I also made the soup a day in advance to let the flavors develop. I added some oregano to the recipe as well (I add oregano to everything) and didnt use as much tomatoes or tomato paste. I have seen a lot of borscht recipes that either involve beef or beef broth and I had always thought this was traditional (although i dont really think it is) so I used a little beef broth in replace of some of the water.. i wouldnt use too much though because it can take away from the beets. I plated the borscht in bowls that were set on top of leaves from the beets (which are edible and have a little purple coloring to them so they looked great with the soup). Overall, I would use this recipe again with a few adjustments. ...maybe more beets and less cabbage considering the cabbage doesnt add as much to it.
I am a Peace Corps volunteer living in Ukraine so I know good borsch (borsch is originally Ukrainian, not Russian!), and this recipe is delicious! You should know that every baba (grandma) has her own recipe that her family will learn and believe to be better than all the rest--so personalize this recipe away! If it's authenticity you're looking for, use sunflower oil (not vegetable, and not grapeseed either--it's sunflower or bust around here). Also, I've never seen anyone add sugar to their recipe. A little bit of fresh dill is pretty normal too, as are white beans, if that's your thing. Finally, most Ukrainians agree with user JOCARROL: boil your beet with the skin on for 45 minutes or so to make it soft before you shred it. And remember--it's practically a sin to eat borsch without the sour cream so load it on!
Great recipe. As other sugested - boil the beets first and use the water for the soup. But the most important aspect this recipe is lacking is dill !!! It gives a completely particular taste and it's a must. Finish the soup with smetana or sour cream, and add both fresh choped dill and italian parsley.
I modified this recipe to make it vegan. Instead of pork sausage, I used Light Life Gimme Lean Veggie Sausage. I didn't have any cabbage or crushed tomatoes, so I just used the 6 oz. can of tomato paste and I added 1/4 of a large chopped rutabaga and added one extra cup of water to compensate for the crushed tomatoes. I also added 1 tbsp red wine vinegar ( I highly recommend doing this!). I garnished with Tofutti Sour Cream and some fresh chopped Italian parsley and served with rosemary potato bread. Yummy!
This is a great recipe!! I recommend it to anyone just as it is.To make it more like my Mother"s recipe, I cooked and added a cup of dry white kidney beans,4 tbsp fresh Dill,juice of a half lemon,2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar,and 4 Bay leaves.I would have added some beet kvas ,as that would have added some nice tartness, but you have to make that a month ahead of time. This would partner perfectly with Potato Varenyky( aka Pierogi)
Great recipe. Unique flavor that cuts across many cultures. Thanks for sharing this. My husband said it tasted exactly like it did when he traveled overseas.
The things I changed were to substitute cross cut beef shortribs for the sausage, parsnips for potatoes, and I omitted the dairy garnish and the sugar. (I made it Paleo-style.) I also chopped the beets into cubes rather than grating them, since I didn't feel like cleaning up the hot pink kitchen crime scene. As I've never had Borscht before, I cannot comment on authenticity, but this recipe makes a subtle-tasting, delicious, velvety-rich stew. The jewel-toned red color adds a visual that elevates the dish. It's a new favorite. I'll definitely make this again when I have sausage on hand.