Russian Borsch, nutritious, easy and paleo

Russian Borsch

Russian Borscht

Russian Borsch

This is a family favourite. If you ever go to Russia, borsch is widely available in cafes, inexpensive and delicious. It is so easy to make, and the main ingredients are beef and beetroot. Beetroot is a nutritious root vegetable and is rich in anti-oxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. More on beetroot from The World’s Healthiest Foods.

1.6 lb. (800 grams) stewing beef, (beef with bones etc is even better) cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter

1 quart (1 litre) water
1 quart (1 litre) beef stock (make sure it is gluten free if you are buying it)
6 oz. (180 grams) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

2 -3 large beetroots, cook til just cooked, cut very fine, or grate
2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup shredded carrot

1 tbsp. dill tips (or 1 – 2 tsp dried)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon or to taste)

In large saucepan, put in butter, meat and onion. Saute until browned.

Add beef stock and water. Stir in tomato paste, salt and black pepper. Boil for about 1.5 hours, so the meat is soft.

Add beets, cabbage, carrots, and minced garlic. Simmer, uncovered 30 – 45 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Add more water if needed. I like mine thick like a stew, but you might prefer it more like soup. Add dried dill tips to taste at the end or use fresh dill tips as garnish.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream (full fat, not ‘lite’)

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  1. Wow…my husband taught me how to make borscht, and I hate to admit it, but this looks much better than the recipe he gave me! And all of his grandparents were Russian. I can’t wait to try this. I recently launched http://www.chowstalker.com, a site for sharing paleo/primal recipes and this would make a wonderful addition. I hope you will consider submitting this and any of your other recipes you’d be willing to share! There’s lots of info on the site, but if you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks, Patty

    • I had a quick look at your site, great layout and pics, I’ll add it to my recipe links. Please post this recipe – I’ll send it your way. I played with a few borscht recipes before settling on this one, and it always works out. I do have another couple of favourites, but to be honest I find cooking rather a chore, although of course I love yummy tasting food.

  2. Excellent Julianne! Wow, you would never know cooking was a chore for you! I’ll be happy to post any of your recipes! If you go to the site and select “share your chow”, its a simple upload process, and I’ll get it published right away. Thanks again! Patty

  3. Your recipe for borscht looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I just started the Paleo diet due to some food intolerances and I am always looking for creative recipes. Thanks!

  4. Nice recipe, but Western preparation, not traditional Russian. I am Russian who was raised in Russia and ate borsch as a staple soup daily, there is winter recipe and then there is summer borsch called “borschevnik” where you would use fresh beets from your garden with beet greens, etc. The traditional recipe ALWAYS has potatoes, we are talking Russians, to us potatoes are like rice for Asians. Your meat preparation is way too fancy for a truly Russian borsch. You would have to buy a good piece of bone with generous amount of meat on it (beef). Boil it for a couple of hours, so you got your stock, then take the bone out, pull out the meat and put it back in a pot with all the vegetables. Dill is just for garnish and goes directly in your plate with sour cream. Unless you use dry dill weeds which you would add just 5 mintues before borsch is done cooking. Tomato puree is a “no”, I would say, just garden fresh ones for the summer variations as well as sweet bell peppers. Mushrooms are a popular ingredient too, by the way. Bon Apetite! Mmmmm, delicious….

    • Thanks for the traditional Russian recipe input. I appreciate it. Meat on the bones would certainly be far better. I realise potatoes are part of the traditional recipe, I left them out as I have auto-immune issues and I prefer it potato free. And yes I do add the dill much later – must correct this.

      I’ve experimented with a few recipes and eventually settled on this one as it is fast and easy.

  5. Best beet soup I’ve ever made. I made a double batch to have for lunches this week. A picture and link to your recipe are going up today on my blog – I like to share the best recipes. Thanks!