Simple Borsch Recipe

Borsch is one of the most famous dishes from the Russian cuisine, however, the original recipe belongs to Ukraine. There is a vast number of Borsch recipes, maybe as many as there are households, and it’s very hard to determine which one is the “original” or the “right” one. The version shown below is the one I grew up with since it is my mom’s recipe, which was her mom’s and so on. Surprisingly, it is a lot easier to make than my initial assessment and even a new cook can master it! Enjoy!

Prepared by: My Mom
Serving size: 8-10

2 packs of beef ribs
½ cabbage
4 medium size beets
2 carrots
2 onions
3 tomatoes
2 medium potatoes
3 tbs of tomato sauce or ketchup
1 hot pepper
1 lemon or 2 tbs of lemon juice
Parsley/Chinese Parsley or dill
Salt & Pepper, Sour Cream


Step 1.

In a large pot, add 5 liters of cold water (about 21 cups).


Step 2.

Place the beef into the pot and put the pot on medium heat. Cover with a lid. Boil for 1-1½ hours, until the beef is soft.


Step 3.

Put beets into a pot with hot water and let it cook for 1 hour. Cover the pot with a lid.


Note: Once a knife goes easily through the beets, they are done. When it is ready remove hot water and let it cool for a while.





Step 4.

Once the broth is ready

turn off the heat.



Step 5.

Remove the beef

from the broth.




Step 6.

Let the beef cool down

on the side.




Step 7.

Using a wire mesh ladle spoon

remove all the beef chunks

floating around in the pot.




Step 8.

The broth should be clear.

Then turn the heat back on and

let the broth boil.




Step 9.

Peel the potatoes and slice

them into medium size pieces.




Step 10.

Add potatoes to

the boiling broth.


Step 11.

Wash the cabbage
and remove the outer layer.


Step 12.

Slice half of the cabbage head
into long chunks.




Step 13.

Add the cabbage

to the boiling broth.




Step 14.

Stir and cover the pot with a lid.

Let it boil for another

10 minutes or so.



Step 15.

Meanwhile, place a medium

sized pan on medium

heat and add 3 tbs of olive oil.




Step 16.

Peal the carrots and dice them

into medium size pieces.




Step 17.

Add the carrots to the

heated pan and stir.



Step 18.

Peel the onions and dice them

into medium  size pieces.




Step 19.

Add the onion pieces

to the carrots in the pan. Stir.




Step 20.

Rinse the hot pepper

and cut it into little pieces.




Step 21.

Add the hot pepper to the mix.





Step 22.

Rinse the tomatoes and dice

them into medium size pieces.




Step 23.

Add the tomatoes to the pan.





Step 24.

Add 3 tbs of tomato sauce

(or ketchup) to the

mixture and stir.




Step 25.

Let the mixture cook

for another 10 minutes.




Step 26.

Add the contents of the

pan into the broth. Stir.



Step 27.

Detach the beef from

the bone and cut it into

small pieces.



Step 28.

Add the beef to the broth.

Let the broth boil for

another 10 minutes.



Step 29.

Meanwhile, peel the beets

and slice them into

medium size pieces.



Step 30.

Add the beets to the broth.


Step 31.

Squeeze the juice from 1 whole

lemon into the broth or use 1-2 tbs

of pre-made lemon juice.


Step 32.

Dice the parsley, or dill, or Chinese

parsley (or the mixture of all 3)

and add into the broth.

Add salt and pepper to taste.


Step 33.

Stir. As soon as the broth boils

again turn of the heat.


Note: Do not let it over boil

or cook any more after it boils.


Step 34.

Cover the pot with a lid and let it

sit for 20-30 minutes as is.


Step 35.

Serve hot, add a dollop of

sour cream to the bowl.



All done!

Grab a big spoon and enjoy!

Still Dreaming

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here: Simple Borsch Recipe

  • This isn’t really something I can have due to my allergies, and it’s also not something I’d try (I’m a picky eater as well! :x), but I like the idea of the carrots into the pan… And maybe adding potato slices into it. Sounds plain, but it still seems like something worth trying. :p

    • Hey Liza 🙂
      I am a picky eater as well and not very good at trying new things either, but this soup is a “comfort” food for us Russians lol

      Which foods are you allergic to and which foods do you like to eat? Maybe i know a recipe that you will like and can eat 🙂

      • It’s a long list, and I’m actually getting tested for food allergies in two weeks. I’m allergic to yeast and molds, which includes basically everything, plus I have to cut things out due to acid reflux. I’m working on, and after my test in two weeks, I’ll be able to provide a list. Most of the foods I enjoy eating I can no longer eat.

        • I recently watched a documentary about food allergies and its a scary world, especially for people that go into anaphylactic shock after eating something they are not supposed to.

          I’ll check back when your list is up to see if i know of a recipe you might like and that won’t hurt you. Allergies and preferences aside, you still gotta eat 🙂

          • Yeah, I have nut allergy – to peanuts, tree nuts and coconut – so I get the anaphylactic reactions. I get the respiratory one. My EpiPen stays nearby at all times because of this. I also have an inhaler, and that helps sometimes as well.

          • Oh wow, that must be tough =/
            I like how you are turning your experience with the allergies into something positive that could help other people as well. There are so many recipes for gluten free food, but no one has thought to make a website for those with allergies yet.. I think once your site is up and running on full speed, it can help a lot of people struggling with allergies, so keep up the good work! 🙂

  • D.

    nice post! i don’t have a clue about what people eat in Russia, so reading this was fun!

    • Hey D. 🙂
      Russian cuisine is pretty healthy and the recipes usually call for regular ingredients only, so it is easy to prepare. I’ll be posting more in the near future, so check back soon 🙂


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