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Enjoy a bowl of this vegetarian borscht soup with a big hunk of rye bread and butter or a nice, green salad on the side.


This meatless Borscht soup recipe is loaded with beets and potatoes, cooked in broth (I prefer beef broth but vegetable broth works fine) for a veggie-loaded soup. It’s a gorgeous red color and so delicious. Some versions of traditional borscht have meat, but I didn’t put any in, so it can be made vegetarian, depending on what stock is used. I made this beet soup with beef broth, and it tasted great, but you can also use vegetable stock or broth. If you need some more beet recipes try this Red Beet Salad, Baby Greens with Goat Cheese, and Spiralized Mediterranean Beet and Feta Skillet Bake.

Meatless Borscht

How healthy is borscht?

This healthy borscht soup is packed with nutrients from the potatoes and beets. Potatoes are a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamin C, while beets are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like folate and potassium.

Borscht Ingredients

  • Onion: Dice the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Garlic: Mince three cloves.
  • Tomato Paste: You’ll need three tablespoons. You can freeze the leftover paste in an ice cube tray to save for later.
  • Spices: Smoked paprika and celery seeds
  • Vegetables: Peel and cut a pound each of russet potatoes and beets in bite-sized cubes.
  • Stock: Any stock or broth will work.
  • Vinegar: Use one tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
  • Garnish: Sour cream or plain yogurt and chopped dill and parsley

How to Make Borscht

  • Sauté: Cook the onions, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a large saucepan on medium-high heat for five minutes until soft and slightly brown. Add the garlic, tomato paste, paprika, and celery seeds, and cook for a minute.
  • Simmer: Add the potatoes, beets, and broth to the pot, boil, and reduce the heat to low to simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Season: Stir in the vinegar and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls, dollop with sour cream or yogurt, and garnish with fresh herbs.

How to Freeze Borscht

Freeze leftover borscht soup in freezer-safe containers, leaving a little room at the top for the soup to expand. To thaw, place the container in the refrigerator the day before eating and then microwave until warm.


  • Beef: If you want to make this with beef, add some cubed chuck beef to the broth before adding the vegetables and let it simmer until soft, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then proceed as directed. You may need to add more broth.
  • Potatoes: If you don’t have Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold are probably the best alternative.
  • Stock: For vegetarian borscht, use vegetable stock.
  • Vinegar: Swap red wine vinegar with white wine or apple cider vinegar.
  • Dairy-Free: Skip the yogurt/sour cream at the end.


More Vegetarian Soup Recipes You’ll Love:

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5 from 6 votes
Enjoy a bowl of this vegetarian borscht soup with a big hunk of rye bread and butter or a nice, green salad on the side.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Russian, Ukranian
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 pound Russet or other starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-sized cubes
  • 1 pound beets, peeled and cut in bite-sized cubes
  • 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock, (1 quart )
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt, for topping
  • Chopped dill and/or parsley, for garnish


  • Heat a heavy-bottomed 3 quart or larger saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high, add the olive oil and swirl to coat.
  • Add the onion, stir to coat, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion has softened and is just starting to brown.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste, paprika, and celery seeds, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  • Add the potatoes, beets, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and beets are tender.
  • Stir in the vinegar. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if desired with more salt and pepper, to taste.
  • To serve, ladle into soup bowls, and add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top, then garnish with a few pinches of chopped dill and/or parsley.

Last Step:

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If you want to make this with beef, add some cubed chuck beef to the broth before adding the vegetables and let it simmer until soft, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then proceed as directed. You may need to add more broth.


Serving: 1 1/3 cups, Calories: 167 kcal, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 4.5 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Sodium: 599.5 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 10 g


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19 comments on “Borscht”

  1. This is now a favorite soup. I never thought of making this before as it never really appealed, but boy have I been missing out. I did it vegetarian–with veggie broth, had just slightly over one pound each potato and beets that I diced pretty small–the beets took a lot longer to get softer, I probably simmered maybe twice as long till I was done, the beets stayed firmer then potato but not a problem. I cut olive oil to only 1 teaspoon to cook the onion etc, added some dill and parsley. Outstanding.
    A P.S. Had some left over small red beans from another recipe–and put some into the serving of soup–and that was good. too.

  2. This was delicious. Don’t make the mistake I made, though. Unfortunately, I cut my beet pieces in slightly larger than bite-sized and they took forever to cook. Smaller is better!

  3. This was delicious!! Mine looked more soup-like than the picture and it took longer than 20 minutes. I think next time I will add some cabbage to help with the broth. Other than that, this was simple and worth every bite.

  4. So good! The beets took about 30 minutes (vs. 20) to soften up. I will definitely be making this again!

  5. Made a half-recipe tonight…..just for me. Thoroughly enjoyed the nice balance of flavors. Thx for the post!

  6. The beet borscht I grew up with from my Grandma’s favorite deli is mixed with sour cream so it is pink and served cold with boiled potatoes that were served on the side. The customer could add the hot potatoes a little at a time as they ate. The beets were a juliene cut. Now I really want some and your recipe looks delish especially (like me) if you love beets. Thanks

    1. I’m from Lithuania, and that’s sounds more like Lithuanian cold Borscht. I love it so much I could eat it every day 

  7. I have a question on how mych stock to add. The recipe states as follows

    “4 cups 1 quart chicken, beef or vegetable stock”

    Is it 4 cups plus 1 quart of stock or just 4 cups total? Thanks.

  8. This is a very good borshcht! Very similar to our family’s Ukrainian recipe. We chop the beets into large matchsticks the size of a pencil and 1 1/2-2” long and add sliced carrots and shredded cabbage too. Sautéing the onions with a bit of butter is the trick to not missing the meat . Adding cold broth is also important to keep the beets a vibrant red colour 🙂 We love lots of fresh dill stirred in at the end as well as for garnish. A can of Lima beans adds a bit of protein too. 
    Thank you for all your delicious recipes!!

  9. I am a Ukrainian/Russian immigrant living here in the US for over 30yrs. My mother taught me to make borscht (t is silent) and I have been making it since I was 12yrs old. Anyways, just wanted to say that it is a traditional Ukrainian dish (Russia has something similar called schi) and there are as many recipes for it as there are cooks. Pork is the traditional meat of choice for borscht in Ukraine but I use beef. My recipe also contains carrots in the zazharka (sauteed onions w/spices), shredded cabbage (added at the very end), celery, and beans. And we’ve always shredded our beets, not diced. Another thing I wanted to mention is that if you use as many beets as this recipe calls for, your borscht will be sweet. So if you don’t like the flavor of beets or a sweetish soup, use less beets and add the other veggies.

  10. Can the celery seed be omitted? Just curious, because I don’t think I have any in my cabinet currently, but can pick some up next time I hit the grocery.