Barley Borscht Recipe
Barley Borscht Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Barley Borscht Recipe

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This is one of my favorite soups. It makes good use of the many vegetables that are being harvested this time of year here in North Dakota.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours 50 min.
MAKES:16 servings
Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours 50 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 2 pounds meaty beef soup bones
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium rutabaga (about 1 pound), diced
  • 3 cups fresh diced beets (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 small head cabbage (about 1 pound), shredded
  • 2-1/2 cups diced carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 2-1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Fresh dill

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup without sour cream) equals 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 227 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine beef bones, onion, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Strain broth; discard bones, onion and seasonings. Skim fat and return broth to the kettle. Add rutabaga, beets, celery, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and barley. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender and barley is cooked. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar; heat through. Ladle into serving bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Sprinkle with dill. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Barley Borscht in Country August/September 1992, p49

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Reviewed Aug. 24, 2011

"DELISH!!! 1st time making borscht - will definately make again. i omitted the rutabaga. added diced cooked chicken. the 1/4 cup vinegar gives it a nice flavor but if you prefer your borscht more sour like i do, than add a tad more. i used whipping cream instead of sour cream."

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