The Real Deal Beef Borscht Soup

What better way to beat the cold weather blues than with a hot bowl of tasty beef borscht.

Alas, winter is finally here and I know a lot of you like myself are tucked away at home and keeping warm from the elements. Cold gloomy weather calls for something comforting and warm to lift the spirits. I happened to be watching youtuber Mark Weins eating old style Soviet cuisine (great episode by the way) and was inspired to make some authentic borscht soup. I just love the beefy heartiness of this soup and the beautiful red color of the beets along with the addition of delicious sour cream to round out the flavors!

The weekend I made this I was a little ambitious and also made a side of homemade dill flavored pelmeni dumplings to pair with the soup. I will post a recipe for these little delights so stay tuned! Anyways, this borscht recipe is super simple and super easy to make and you can find all of these staple ingredients in your pantry or grocery store.

The key parts to making this dish is adding the vinegar near the end to give the soup an extra sour kick you need to contrast all the rich beef and broth. The other thing I also like about this dish is the addition of fresh minced garlic at the bottom of the bowl right before pouring in the hot broth. It’s so wonderfully fragrant and if you love garlic as much as I do you will definitely LOVE this little trick! A last must do is to put a dollop of sour cream (you can also substitute with Balkan yogurt if you want a slightly healthier option) and stir it into the broth to make it deliciously creamy and bright pink in color! Fresh dill also gives it a nice herbaceous flavor so do try if you have it on hand.

This is a stove top recipe, but if you are in a hurry and have an instant pot or pressure cooker around cook the vegetables and beef (minus the cabbage) in ‘soup’ mode first then finish the last few steps of adding the cabbage on regular boil. So easy right? Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Real Deal Borscht Soup

Prep time: 10 min     
Cook time: 2 h   
Total time: 2 h 10 min   
Servings: 4-6


  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 2 cups cabbage slices
  • 2 large beets cubed
  • 2 small carrots chopped
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or Balkan yogurt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the beef chuck roast into 1 inch cubes, season with salt and pepper, then coat lightly with flour.
  2. Heat a large soup pot to medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil then brown beef pieces for 5 min. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add another 1 tbsp of oil and saute the carrots, onions, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and paprika for 3-4 min. Add in the browned beef, diced beets, beef broth, sugar, 3 tsp of salt, and just enough water to cover the ingredients.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a low simmer for 1.5 h with the lid on.
  5. After simmering, add in the chopped cabbage and white vinegar and continue to cook for another 30 min until soft.
  6. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning adding in more salt if needed.
  7. When ready to serve, mince 2 cloves of garlic and add to the bottom of 2 soup bowls. Ladle in the borscht and garnish with fresh dill and sour cream. Serve with a side of pelmeni dumplings if you like and enjoy while piping hot!

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