Borscht with A Dollop of Sour Cream

Russian Beet & Cabbage Soup

Russian Beet & Cabbage Soup

Borscht is a Yiddish/Slavic soup that many Russian restaurants serve and believed to originate in the Ukraine.  It is flavorful and filling.  It is traditionally made with beet, potato and/or cabbage and sometimes tomatoes as a base.  Normally, the flavor comes from the beef bones/stock.  In this instance, I chose to modify the flavor by using chicken stock and not bother with the tomatoes.  Basically because I did not have these ingredients in my pantry so you got to make do with what you got.  This week there were a few beet and red potatoes and red cabbage from Utopian Harvest that I felt I need to make this soup instead of using beet as a salad.  I understand that “red” soup is not normal for many people but I promise you, this will be a “beet” of a surprise for you in flavor.

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

The vitamin C equivalent, a measure of antioxidant capacity, of red cabbage is also six to eight times higher than that of green cabbage. Red cabbage is one of the most nutritious and best tasting vegetables around — a great addition to healthy eating.  Interest in anthocyanin pigments in red cabbage continues to intensify because of their health benefits as dietary antioxidants, as an anti-inflammatory, and their potentially protective, preventative, and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases.

Serve:  6-8                                                                           total:  1 hour (10 min prep & 50 min cooking)

3 medium or 1 bunch Sliced or cubed beet
1 small Chopped onion
1 small Chopped Red cabbage
4-5 small Cubed potato (red potatoes or new potatoes)
4 cups (32 oz.) Chicken broth
4 cups Water
1 tablespoon Chopped garlic
1 teaspoon or pinch Clove (optional) or dill
1 tablespoon Chopped garlic
½ cup White vinegar
to taste Salt and pepper
8 oz. Sour cream (optional)


  1. Prepare the beet before cooking in a soup:
  • Peel the beet and cut into small pieces;
  • Microwave the beet in a microwavable bowl with a tablespoon of water for 6 minutes. Make sure to cover the bowl so that the beet juices will not splatter all over the microwave.
  1. In a crock pot or soup pot sauté the onion and garlic until tender;
  2. Add the potatoes and cooked beet with juice (microwaved) and sauté for 5 minutes or until potato is tender;
  3. add the cabbage and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes until cabbage is a little soft;
  4. pour chicken broth and water over the whole mixture and bring to a boil;
  5. add clove or dill and salt and pepper to taste;
  6. Lower the temperature to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until all vegetables is tender. The flavor really gets intensify when the longer you cook.
  7. Add vinegar to the cooked soup before serving;
  8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream when ready to eat; I prefer not having sour cream but some people like that creamy flavor in the broth so sour cream is optional.

I was really surprised when a daughter of one my friends really liked Borscht.  It turns out to be a big hit at our Eat Grow and Share luncheon with Agriscaping.  I was pleasantly surprised and a “beet” delighted with the outcome.