If you love you’re a fan of beets, it’s a safe bet that you’ll dig this soup. Warming and nourishing, Borscht is full of flavor and nutrients! Packed with vegetables — beets, red cabbage, carrot and tomatoes — the soup itself is vegetarian and is served with a dollop of horseradish spiced yoghurt. Of course, feel free to skip it or sub vegan yoghurt for a 100% plant-based meal. I find the little extra richness to be a great addition.
Borscht: a classic beet soup
In Russian it’s called Borscht, is. In Poland, it’s barszcz, and Lithuania they call it barščiai. There are countless versions — with or without meat, some with potatoes or beans. Every family has their own favourite version of this traditional beetroot soup. One thing is for certain, you can expect a light and still hearty soup that tastes even better as leftovers. The beets infuse a sweet, earthy flavor, and the soup gets finished with fresh dill and apple cider vinegar for a little zing. Topped with creamy yoghurt this is a terrific soup for serving with some crusty bread for dipping. Pure comfort food heaven.
My vegetarian borscht is made with not only beets, but also cabbage, carrots and fresh tomatoes — plus beet greens! I like to pick up my beets by the bunch at the market with the greens intact. They are terrific used like Swiss chard or spinach. Which means also a great addition to soups like this. Otherwise, save the greens. Braised beet greens or stir-fried beet greens are also delicious.
Love beets? How about trying one of these delicious recipes:
- Beetroot Curry with Coconut Milk & Spinach
- Beetroot and Orange Salad with Fresh Herbs
- Coconut Ginger Beet Soup
Vegetarian Borscht (Beet Soup)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 small yellow onions, finely chopped (300 g)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 bunches beets (6 medium/900 g), cut in 1cm pieces
- fresh beet greens, stems removed and chopped (optional)
- 1 medium carrots, finely diced
- ½ red cabbage, shredded (300 g)
- 6 medium tomatoes, chopped (700 g)
- 6-8 cups of water, vegetable or chicken broth
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- handful fresh dill, finely chopped
- 100 ml Greek or natural yoghurt
- fresh or creamed horseradish, to taste
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium, sauté the onion and garlic over until tender, 8-10 minutes.
Add bay leaves, allspice (Piment), sugar and cubed beets and continue to sauté, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrot, cabbage, tomatoes, and the water or broth. Bring to a light boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender; about 45 minutes to an hour.
Add the vinegar and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. If you are using fresh beet greens, add them to the soup and cook a further couple minutes, until wilted.
Stir in half of the fresh dill and then serve into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt mixed with horseradish to your taste. Top with the remaining dill. Enjoy!
- This beet soup is vegan by nature. To garnish the borscht choose a vegan yoghurt or sour cream equivalent.
- In the winter months, canned tomatoes can be used instead of fresh. Use 2 x 400 g cans of organic chopped tomatoes.
- Feel free to serve this soup with sour cream or creme fraîche instead of yoghurt.
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