This classic Ukrainian red borsch recipe is the perfect way to warm up and nourish your body during the winter months. Packed with healthy vegetables and protein from beef, this dish is not only delicious, but it’s also good for you.

Try this easy-to-follow recipe for a cozy and comforting meal that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied. Don’t forget to top it off with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs for an extra burst of flavor.


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  1. To start, let’s get that beef cooking. We’ll need 0,6 kg of beef, 2-3 bay leaves, and 3 liters of water. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Then add the beef and bay leaves. Let that cook for 1-2 hours, or until the meat is nice and tender.
  2. While the meat is cooking, we can get our veggies prepped. Peel and grate 2 medium beets, and chop up 1/2 head of cabbage. Dice 4 medium potatoes, and grate 1 large carrot and 1 onion.
  3. Once the beef is done, remove it from the pot and set it aside. In the same pot, add all of our prepped veggies to the beef broth. Let that simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked through.
  4. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1 tablespoon of beetroot kvass. Add that to the pot and give it a good stir.
  5. Finally, add in 2 cloves of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Let that simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs, and enjoy the flavors of Ukraine in your own home. Perfect for a cozy cold-weather meal, it’s a great way to warm up and nourish your body. Enjoy!

Analogs of Beetroot kvass

Beetroot kvass is a traditional fermented drink in Eastern Europe. But it may be difficult to find in other parts of the world. However, there are a few analogs that can be found in the USA, Europe, Australia, and Canada that are similar in taste and nutritional value.

  • Water Kefir is a fermented drink made from water, sugar, and kefir grains. It has a slightly sour and fizzy taste, similar to kvass.
  • Beet Kvass Powder is a convenient alternative to traditional beet kvass. It is made from dehydrated beetroot and can be rehydrated to make a kvass-like drink. Beet kvass powder is available online and in some health food stores.
  • Red Wine Vinegar is made from red wine and has a similar taste and acidity to grape vinegar.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented apple juice and has a slightly sweet and tangy taste. While it is not as acidic as grape vinegar.
  • Rice Vinegar is made from fermented rice and has a mild and slightly sweet taste. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine.
  • White Wine Vinegar is made from white wine and has a milder taste and lower acidity than grape vinegar.
  • Jun is a fermented drink that is similar to kombucha but is made with green tea and honey instead of black tea and sugar. It has a slightly sweet and sour taste, similar to kvass. You can find jun in some health food stores and online shops.

Benefits of Borsch

Regarding why this recipe is good for health, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, borsch is packed with a variety of nutrient-dense vegetables. It is including beets, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. So borsch is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Additionally, the beef in the recipe provides a good source of protein. Consuming a diet rich in vegetables and protein has been linked to improved overall health and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Risks of Borsch

On the other hand, there are some potential risks to consider with this recipe. Depending on the cooking method and ingredients used, borscht can be high in sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues.

Additionally, if the beef used in the recipe is high in saturated fat, this can also contribute to health risks if consumed in excess. It’s important to use lean cuts of beef and monitor sodium intake to reduce these risks.

Cooking time of the recipe

The total time for this recipe is approximately 3-4 hours, with 1-2 hours for cooking the beef. And an additional 2-3 hours for prepping and cooking the vegetables and broth.

However, the actual cooking time may vary based on factors such as the size of the beef, and the heat of the stove. And the desired tenderness of the meat and vegetables. It is essential to keep an eye on the cooking process and adjust as necessary to ensure the best result.

History of Classic Ukrainian Red Borsch

Borsch is a popular soup that originated in Eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine. And has become a staple dish in many countries around the world. The history of borscht is a fascinating tale that spans centuries and has been influenced by a variety of cultures.

The earliest versions of borsch were made with wild herbs and berries, which were boiled together to make a flavorful broth. As time passed, additional ingredients were added to the soup, such as beets, cabbage, and potatoes.

The soup became a staple in Ukrainian cuisine and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Nowadays in Ukraine, the soup is often made with pork and served with pampushky, a type of garlic bread.

The History of Ukrainian Borshch

Video by Tasting History with Max Miller 

Borsch in time

Borsch has been around for centuries and is thought to have originated in Ukraine. It was first mentioned in a cookbook from the 16th century. In the 18th century, borsch became more widely known throughout Europe. In the early 1900s, borsch became popular in the United States and was served in many restaurants.

Despite its many variations, borsch remains a beloved dish in many parts of the world. It has even been the subject of heated debates among chefs and food critics, with some claiming that there is a “right” way to make the soup. And others argue that the dish is meant to be adapted to suit individual tastes.

Regardless of how it’s made, borscht continues to be a delicious and nutritious soup that has stood the test of time. Its rich history and cultural significance make it a beloved dish that will likely be enjoyed for generations to come.

Borsch and UNESCO

Ukrainian borsch is not only a delicious soup but also an important part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. In fact, in 2015, UNESCO recognized Ukrainian borsch as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The recognition by UNESCO was a significant moment for Ukraine, as it acknowledges the cultural significance of borsch and its role in shaping Ukrainian cuisine and culture.

The recognition by UNESCO also helped to promote the importance of traditional cooking and the preservation of cultural heritage. Ukrainian borsch is not only a tasty dish but also a symbol of community, family, and tradition. Ukrainian families often have their unique recipes and ways of preparing borsch, which are passed down from generation to generation.

In conclusion, Ukrainian borsch is not just a soup, but a cultural treasure. Its recognition by UNESCO emphasizes the importance of preserving and promoting traditional cooking and cultural heritage.