Russian Borscht

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 2 hours 10 min. + cooling


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 30, 2022
I immigrated to the United States from western Russia in 1998. When I made friends, I found that many people had heard of Borscht, a traditional soup made with fresh beets, but few knew how to cook it. So I prepared this recipe from my grandmother, and everyone seemed to like it.—Svetlana Chriscaden, Falconer, New York


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound beef shanks
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 3 medium uncooked beets, peeled and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Place the first six ingredients in a large soup kettle or Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute beets in 1 tablespoon oil for 3 minutes. stir in vinegar; set aside. Remove beef with a slotted spoon; cool. Remove meat from the bones; discard bones. Cut meat into chunks; set aside. strain broth, discarding peppercorns and bay leaves. Skim fat. Add enough water to broth to measure 6 cups; return to kettle. Add potatoes, carrots, cabbage, parsley and beets. Bring to a boil.
  2. In a skillet, saute onion in remaining oil for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Whisk into soup. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. add tomatoes. process soup in small batches in a blender or food processor; pour into a large saucepan. Add beef; heat through. Garnish with sour cream.

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