Beet Soup, also called Ukrainian borscht, is a simple, yet incredibly flavourful soup. Ready in less than an hour, this comforting beet soup is easy to make and the most satisfying, nutritious meal in a bowl.
Why beet soup?
Besides being the most beautiful shade of ruby red and just generally pretty to look at, this quick and easy beet soup recipe is hearty, delicious, and very nutritious. Also called Ukrainian borscht, this soup is filled with your favorite veggies, like cabbage, carrots, and diced potatoes. Plus, with just 15 minutes or prep time and less than 30 minutes to cook, this mouthwatering beet soup can be ready in under an hour -- perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
What is Ukrainian borscht?
Ukrainian borscht is a beet-based soup, usually cooked with cabbage and potatoes, and sometimes sausage or beef. But this soup always has beets, which is what gives it a beautiful ruby red colour.
The origins of this beet soup are in Eastern Europe, originating in Ukraine, but it is also commonly made in Russia, Poland, and Hungary, as well as the regions in North America that those populations settled when immigrating here.
Here's What You Need For the Recipe
- Seasonings: To season this Ukrainian borscht, you absolutely need to have dill -- fresh dill is always best but dried dill will work, too. Something is amazing about the pairing of beets and dill. The only other major seasoning I used in this recipe, besides the lemon, is garlic. And of course, salt and pepper.
- Beets: If you need another reason to eat beets, it’s because, besides being delicious, they are also incredibly nutritious!
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: These are traditionally added as a garnish to borscht, then stirred into the beet soup to make it creamy, tart and rich.
- Other Ingredients: I also used onion, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, and vegetable stock in this beet soup recipe.
How to Make Beet Soup, Step By Step
Step 1: Sauté Onions
First, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then when oil is hot, add onions and garlic. You will want to continue to sauté until the onions are softened and translucent, which usually takes about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add Veggies
Next, you will want to pour in vegetable stock for your beet soup and bring the soup to a boil. When the broth is boiling, add beets, cabbage, and carrots. Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Cover and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes or until all veggies are tender.
Step 3: Add Potatoes
Now it is time to add potatoes! Cover and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Step 4: Season and Serve
Remove your beet soup from the heat and stir in lemon juice, dill, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve your delicious borsht with sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish, along with more fresh dill.
The Many Variations of Beet Soup
There are many, many variations of Ukrainian borscht recipes, differing based on the countries that they come from, to the cooks that make them, to the ingredients that are plentiful in that region. The recipes have also been passed down through generations -- in fact, for me, this recipe is a very different version of the borscht that I grew up with.
I grew up in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, where there is a very large Doukhobor community. Until I ventured out into the culinary world, the Doukhobor version of borscht was the only one that I knew. I promise to post that recipe soon, because it is delicious in its own right, and still my favourite.
Is beet soup vegetarian?
For me, Ukrainian borscht is always meatless; however, there are many beet soup and borscht recipes using beef ribs, ground beef, and sausage. This vegetarian version is closer to what I am used to, and it tastes amazing without any meat.
Is beet soup tart or sweet?
This easy soup recipe has so much sweetness from the beets, which is wonderful -- but to balance that sweetness, it’s important to introduce a few tart notes to the soup. I use lemon juice in this recipe, but you can also use apple cider vinegar.
Are beets healthy?
Beets are low in calories, but very high in vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and fibre. You can learn more about just how nutritious these root veggies really are for us here: Nutrition Benefits of Beets.
NOTE: The calorie value for this recipe is calculated without the addition of sour cream or yogurt. Typically, a tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt would be added to each serving.
Why do you need a food processor to make soup?
A food processor makes short work of this soup, reducing the chopping, & long cooking time of beets. If you don't have one, chop your veggies as small as possible.
Looking for more beet recipes?
Do you love beets as much as I do? Check out these recipes too:
- Beet Pistachio & Orange Salad
- Roasted Beet and Apple Salad
- Wild Rice Salad – Roasted Beet Salad
- Roasted Beet Hummus
- Beet Salad with Grapefruit, Blue Cheese & Walnuts
Borscht - Ukrainian Beet Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion large, diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 lb beets peeled & shredded
- 2 cups cabbage shredded
- 3 carrots peeled & shredded
- 2 potatoes peeled & diced
- 3 tablespoon dill fresh, chopped
- 1 lemon juice of
- salt & pepper to taste
- sour cream or Greek yogurt optional
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
- Add onions and garlic, cooking until onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes
- Add vegetable stock, and bring to a boil
- Add beets, cabbage, and carrots
- Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cover and allow to simmer 15 minutes, or until all veggies are tender.
- Add potatoes, cover, and simmer a further 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender
- Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice, dill, and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish, along with more fresh dill
I wasn’t expecting this soup to be so good, the ingredients are quite simple but the flavours are complex! I used white sweet potato’s instead of regular and made some cashew sour cream, so so good, thank you!
Hi Rita, I'm thrilled that you loved this recipe, it's one of my favorites! And thank you for sharing your tweaks!
Made this tonight! It was so good! Never had borscht before and I’m a vegetarian so I was excited to try this! I used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon. My husband and I really enjoyed it and plan to make it again!
This makes me so happy Courtney! First, because you loved it, and second that you came back to let me know. Thank you so much! 😘
I grew so many beets this year, and apart from pickling, I had no clue what to do with them. Never occurred to me to make soup! I love the beautiful vibrant colour too!
Hi Jacqui. Lucky you to have so many homegrown beets. This soup is a delicious way to use some of them. 🙂
Being Ukrainian, I grew up on beet borscht so it's basically a staple 🙂 Yours looks so gorgeous and delicious!!
Thanks Terri! Borscht should be a staple in every home 🙂 It's always delicious.
Bernice M Hill
Dill-icious! You have reminded me that I haven't made borscht yet this fall. It's so good with beets harvested right from the ground. I prefer mine vegetarian too, but my mom usually will add beef or even ham. There are so many variations!
Yes, there are so many variations, Bernice, and they're all yummy.
It Looks Chunkier then it being shredded.....do you mean like a stainless box shredder to use?
I used a food processor with the shredding attachment. I didn't shred the potatoes, though, so that's the chunky part. 🙂
This is a gorgeous colour Colleen! I've made golden beet soup but never red beet soup! I'll have to give it a try while I can still get local beets!
What a beautiful colour soup. I really should give it a try.
Hi Dannii, the colour is gorgeous, and the soup tastes just as good as it looks. I hope you do give it a try!
I LOVE beetroot and have never made it into a soup before, but I know this is the first place to start! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
You are very welcome, Jeannette. If you love beetroot, I know you will love it in a soup. Enjoy!
Beet soup might just be my new favorite Fall soup! So delicious!
Sapana, beet soup is a perfect, and delicious, fall soup. Enjoy!
What a unique and savory soup! Looks like pure heartwarming deliciousness! Yum!
Hi Sara, This soup really is deliciously heartwarming. 🙂
This is surely a healthy and colorful soup option. I love such options for Dinner.
Thanks Veena. It tastes as good as it look, too!