Delicious Ukrainian borscht with beef

Ukrainian borscht with beef and beetroot is a very popular soup in Eastern European. Every household has its own version and thinks they know the right way to make it! I will share with you my way of making borscht and then you can adjust it to your own desired taste. It's said that it tastes even better the next day, so make it ahead of time if you want to impress your family and friends.

Note: you can make it vegetarian if you like by adding some red kidney beans or chickpeas instead of beef.


30 min


60 min (combined time)


6-8 people


500g beef , cut into bite sizes
1l of stock (beef, chicken or vegetable) or homemade broth
3 cups shredded cabbage
2-3 medium potatoes chopped in cubes (2×2 cm)
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium to large beetroot, grated
2 large carrots, grated
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp oil
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup celery leaves
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp salt to taste
pepper to taste
sour cream/dill to garnish and serve (optional)


When I was growing up in Moldova my mum would make this Ukrainian borscht with beef on the regular bases. Now as I live in New Zealand I often make it to serve it to my local friends.
  1. Heat a big pot (I use a 4L pot) on the stove with 1L hot water and add the cut meat. Add the bay leaves and cook it for around 30 min at medium heat.
  2. In the meantime rinse, trim, and peel all of your vegetables. Chop the onion and potatoes into small pieces. Grate the beetroot and carrots, and shred the cabbage.
  3. Add the stock to the big pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the shredded cabbage and potatoes for 15 min.
  5. In the meantime start heating a medium fry pan and add the oil and onion. Sauté the onion gently until translucent.
  6. Add the grated carrots and beetroot and stir occasionally until the veggies are soft. Add the lemon and tomato paste and cook for another 5 min.
  7. Add the contents of the fry pan to the big pot. Also add the parsley and celery leaves and stir it gently.  Cook it for a further 5 min.
  8. Serve it with some sour cream, dill and nice fresh bread.
  9. As mentioned the flavours will intensify if you eat it next day.