Thursday 15 March 2012


I love beetroot. My husband hates beetroot. Our veggie box contained beetroot for several consecutive weeks. Marco said that he might like it made into a Russian style beef and beetroot soup called borschtsch. I would try everything to convince him that beetroot tastes good, so I went to work. 

This recipe comes from my Mama's Russian friend Olga, so I take it to be quite authentic. The beetroot is shredded and only added in the end, so the taste stays quite fresh and sour. The verdict: I loved this soup. Well, and Marco? Never mind...

(serves 6)


500g braising beef
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 onions, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 head of white cabbage, finely shredded
6 potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 large carrot, finely shredded
2 beetroots, finely shredded
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 container (300 ml) sour cream (plus more to serve)
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
black pepper


In a big pot, cover the beef chunks with 2.5 l of cold water, add the bay leaf, cover, and boil gently for three hours. When the meat is tender, remove with a slotted spoon, cut into bit-sized pieces and set aside. Strain the stock and set aside also.

In the now empty pot, heat the oil and sweat the onions over a low heat until they become soft and opaque, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Make sure not to burn the onions. Add the cabbage and potatoes to the pot, pour over the beef stock, bring to a gentle boil and cook until the vegetables are done, about 15 minutes.

Turn the heat down low and add the shredded carrot and beetroot. Return the beef chunks to the pot. Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir and heat everything through, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

Finally, add the sour cream and stir the soup until everything is combined and a lovely purple-pink colour. Heat until steaming hot, but make sure that the soup does not reach boiling temperature. Adjust the seasoning.

To serve, ladle the borschtsch into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, the finely chopped dill and some freshly ground black pepper.


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).


  1. This is going in my recipe book! I've wanted to know how to make this for a while. x

  2. I'm not a huge fan of beetroot unless it's pickled. My mum used to cook it in the pressure cooker and the smell has put me off for life!

  3. Oh yummy, i love beetroot and this just sounds delicious! will try it, thanks for the recipe :-)


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