Monday, May 12, 2014

Classic Borsch Recipe

Photo credits to Flickr and Tanya F
Borsch is one of the most popular Russian foods out there almost everyone I know has heard of Borsch. I personally don't love it. I know what you're thinking... How dare I say that about an iconic Eastern European dish, but fortunately, I know a lot of people who do love it? Thousands of people enjoy it Russian or not, so I'm sure you guys will love it too. I will always love my Baba's borsch regardless. You will always hear people arguing about who's Baba or Mom makes the best Borsch because each family has their very own personal recipe handed down generation to generation. I personally think that my Baba makes the best and I don't like any other person’s borsch. 

Borsch is a soup made with beets and cabbage. There are two types of Borsches I know one that's dark red made with beets and the other one is a green version made with just cabbage. The most popular one to make and most widely known one is the beet borsch. It is a rich red color; it is a bit sour, a little bitter, rustic, hardy and slightly sweet. If you want to add some sweetness you can add a spoonful of Ketchup or tomato paste, but I don't usually add either. Plus, Borsch is very healthy and nutritious for you to eat because it is packed with protein from the beans, iron from the beets, carotene from the carrots, the potatoes provide Potassium, vitamin C and B6 and lastly the cabbage has fiber, vitamin C and K. For your picky eaters this is the perfect way to get some of your daily vitamins all in one dish. A little fun fact for another reason to make and eat borsch is according to RT Russiapedia Of Russian Origins: Borshch it states that in times of flu epidemics is irreplaceable because of the vitamins it contains and because of its antimicrobial qualities due to the garlic, pepper and onions. Borsch can help to reduce flu like symptoms much like Chicken noodle soup does

According to RT Russiapedia Of Russian Origins: Borshch written by Evgenia Skorchenko she argues that Borsch history has a couple different theories about the origins of Borsch one being that it is highly speculated that borshch originated in Ancient Rome because it used to be the national food there because this was where cabbages and beets were specifically cultivated for that purpose. However, other experts think that the modern version of borshch appeared around the 15th Century. 

According to RT Russiapedia Of Russian Origins: Borshch "Another popular theory that saying unproved legends the first-ever borshch was cooked by the Cossacks in 1637during a two-month siege of the Azov fortress in Southern Russia, which was occupied by the Turkish army. Feeding four thousand Cossacks in a camp were problematic, so they collected anything edible; they could find and threw it all together. Everyone liked this thick and nourishing mix of vegetables and meat, and came up with the name borshch, supposedly making an anagram of a popular fish soup called “shcherba”. 

The last theory proposed by RT Russiapedia Of Russian Origins: Borsch is "Other sources suggest the name came either from the plant borshchevik – one of the key ingredients of the older-time borshch, or from the word brshch, which meant beet in Old Slavonic. The beet is of course the vegetable honored to make up the basis of the classic borshch." 

Regardless of its origins Borsch is a widely popular and eaten soup all around the world, it has a very long and unknown history, which is what makes it so rustic. It's eaten for every meal, but I prefer to eat it for lunch. You can also add a spoonful of sour cream to make it creamy and tangy. Borsch is the perfect soup to eat when you are sick. It's perfect for vegetarians as well because most Borsch only contains vegetables, but some people do add meat to some of them. Armenian Borsch is usually made with Lamb while Ukrainian Borsch is made with veggies and beans.



  • 2 large beets
  • Chop 2 large potatoes
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Grate 2 carrots 
  • Grate 1/2 of a cabbage.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pepper and salt to taste
    •  Remember its soup not stew!
  • 1 can of kidney beans or 
    • You can buy dried kidney beans soak them overnight and add them to the soup, but this will take more time.
  • Optional for your personal taste and flavor: 
    • If you want it sweeter, add 1 spoonful of ketchup/ tomato paste
    • If you want to add a garnish or fresh flavor to it add chopped dill
    • If you don't want to add salt but want to add flavor, add a spoonful of lemon

1.     In a large pot boil the beets, potatoes and carrots, and onions, cover and let boil for an hour until soft.
2.    Peel the beets and grate them along with the carrots and cabbage.
3.    Add everything to a pot of water or vegetable stock. Fill with enough water to cover everything plus an inch or two to give the soup enough water you don't want it to be too thick (Remember its soup not stew!)
4.    Stir all together, let sit and simmer for an hour.
5.    Serve with a dollop of sour cream or garnish with dill 


  1. this sounds very interesting! I've never tried Russian cuisine before. I am not a fan of beets or beans but I am willing to try it

  2. @Donna it beets in borsch taste different in the soup than simply eating a beet so I recommend trying this and let me know if you like it :)

  3. i am coming to your house to try it fyi since its the best!

    1. Haha Courtney your always welcome! I will cook for you and everything!

  4. This sounds really good :) and is something I will try to make. And all of the foods you post look so good lol