Traditional Borscht Recipe

A staple in Eastern Europe, this Traditional Borscht recipe uses roasted beets to achieve a richer flavor.

November/December 2014

  • Roasted beets create a heartier flavor in this borscht soup.
    Photo by iStock

Yield: 2 servings

Another staple of Eastern Europe, borscht comes in infinite iterations, but always includes cooked beets. This version features roasted beets, which have a deeper flavor than the boiled beets many borscht recipes call for.

Traditional Borscht Recipe


For the soup
• 3 medium beets, trimmed
• 3 cups beef or vegetable stock
• Zest and juice of half a lemon
• 2 teaspoons red wine or champagne vinegar, plus more to taste
• 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
• Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the garnish
• 3 tablespoons chilled sour cream, divided (the thicker and tangier, the better)
• 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped


1. Wrap beets in a packet of aluminum foil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Remove beets from oven and allow to cool, after which the skins should slip off easily. Grate beets into a work bowl.

2. Add grated beets to a pan with stock, lemon zest and juice, vinegar and optional honey. Simmer about half an hour. For a fine-textured soup, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

3. Chill soup thoroughly, about 1 hour. Season soup with salt and pepper, tasting and adjusting. You might like a little extra vinegar, too. Serve in chilled bowls. Top each bowl with a healthy dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chives and dill. Serves 2.

Want more healthy soup recipes? Read Start Your Meal with Healthy Soups.