How to Make Authentic Russian Borscht with a Twist?

If you’re searching for a hearty dish that will warm your soul on a cold winter day, look no further than the classic Russian soup, Borscht. Borscht is a beet-based soup that’s filled with an array of vegetables and often includes beef for protein. This soup, rich in color and bursting with flavors, is an epitome of comfort food. However, don’t let the complex-looking nature of this dish intimidate you. With the right guidance, you can whip up a pot of this delicious soup at home. Let’s dive in and explore how you can make this authentic Russian Borscht with a twist.

The Origins of Borscht

Before we delve into the recipe, let’s take a moment to understand the origin of Borscht. This soup, with a deep crimson color, is a culinary icon in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. The star ingredient, beets, give Borscht its distinctive color and sweet taste. It’s a dish that is deeply rooted in tradition, often passed down from generation to generation.

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Borscht traces its origins back to Ukraine’s culinary traditions but quickly spread throughout Eastern Europe, including Russia, where it’s a staple in their national cuisine. Each region has its unique twist on the recipe. Some variations include the addition of beans, mushrooms, or replacing beef with pork. For our version of Borscht, we’ll stick to the basics but add our unique spin on this classic recipe.

Gather Your Ingredients

To make a delicious pot of Borscht, you need to gather the right ingredients. The main components of this soup include beets, cabbage, and potatoes. The beets give the soup its characteristic color and sweet flavor, while the cabbage and potatoes add a hearty and robust texture. For the protein, we’ll be using a good cut of beef.

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Other ingredients you’ll need include onions, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic. For the unique twist in our Borscht recipe, we’ll incorporate fresh dill. Dill adds an earthy and slightly tangy taste to the soup, playing off the sweetness of the beets nicely. Now that we have all our ingredients set, let’s move on to the cooking process.

The Cooking Process

Before you start, make sure you have a large pot ready because this recipe serves up to six people. It’s a great dish to make when you have company coming over or if you want to have leftovers for the next few days.

First off, you need to cook the beef. Add your meat to a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for about an hour. During this time, the beef will become tender and create a rich broth. This step is crucial as it lays the foundation for the flavors of the soup.

While the beef is cooking, you can prepare your vegetables. The key to a flavorful Borscht is to sauté the vegetables before adding them to the soup. Start with the onions, carrots, and beets. Cook them until they’re soft and then add the garlic and tomatoes. Sauté the mixture for a few more minutes until the flavors meld together.

Next, you add your sautéed veggies, chopped potatoes, and shredded cabbage to your pot with the beef. Let everything simmer together until the vegetables are tender. This is also the perfect time to add your fresh dill.

The Final Touches

Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. After about 30 minutes of simmering, your soup should be ready. However, before you rush to serve, there are a few final touches to make this Borscht uniquely yours.

First, taste your Borscht and adjust the seasoning as needed. You might want to add a bit more dill or some salt and pepper. Then, for that extra special touch, consider serving your Borscht with a dollop of sour cream. This not only adds a creamy texture to your soup but also beautifully complements the tangy flavors of the dill and the sweet tones of the beet.

Natasha’s Reply to Common Questions

Finally, let’s address some common questions about Borscht. In this section, we’ll take on the persona of Natasha, a fictitious character who’s an expert in Russian cuisine.

Can I make Borscht without meat? Absolutely. You can replace the beef with mushrooms or simply skip the meat altogether for a vegetarian version.

How long does Borscht keep in the fridge? Borscht can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. In fact, it even tastes better after the flavors have had time to meld together.

What do I serve with Borscht? A slice of freshly baked bread goes beautifully with Borscht. It’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth.

Remember, the beauty of recipes lies in their adaptability. You can tweak the ingredients and steps to suit your personal taste. Now armed with this knowledge, it’s your time to put on an apron and make this authentic Russian Borscht with a twist. Happy cooking!

Cooking Borscht in An Instant Pot

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients and understood the traditional cooking process, let’s explore a modern twist to this classic Russian dish. Yes, we’re talking about making Borscht in an instant pot. This method not only speeds up the cooking time but also ensures that all the flavors are well-infused into the soup.

Begin by setting your instant pot on the sauté mode. Add a splash of olive oil and then toss in your onions, carrots, and beets. Stir and sauté until the vegetables soften. Now add in your garlic, tomato paste, and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Next turn off the sauté mode and add your meat, potatoes, cabbage, and fresh dill to the pot. Now, instead of water, we’re going to pour in some chicken broth. This switch enhances the depth of flavor in your beet soup. For every two cups of water in the original recipe, replace with one cup of chicken broth. Seal your instant pot and set it to pressure cook on high for about 30 minutes.

Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally. Now, add a squeeze of lemon juice to your soup — this is another twist to our Borscht recipe. The lemon juice adds a refreshing tang, nicely balancing out the sweetness of the beets.

The Perfect Plating

After cooking, it’s time to serve up your beautiful and authentic Russian Borscht. First, ladle your soup into bowls, ensuring each serving has a good mix of vegetables and chunks of tender beef.

Then comes the crowning glory, a generous dollop of sour cream. The sour cream provides a smooth, creamy element that contrasts beautifully with the hearty, chunky soup. It also helps to tame the tanginess from the lemon and dill, creating a balanced flavor profile.

Next, sprinkle some chopped fresh dill over the sour cream. This not only adds an aesthetic touch but also gives a burst of freshness with each bite.

Finally, serve your soup with a side of fresh, crusty bread. This pairs perfectly with the soup, especially for mopping up the last bits of the flavorful broth from the bowl.


There you have it — an authentic, yet tweaked Russian Borscht recipe. Whether you decide to stick with the classic method or try out the instant pot version, one thing remains constant: the heartiness and comfort that this beet soup brings.

Remember Natasha’s reply to the common questions, you can customize this recipe to suit your dietary preferences and still achieve a delicious result. So don’t hesitate to replace the beef with mushrooms or even tofu for a vegan-friendly version.

In the end, the most important thing is to enjoy the process. So put on some music, roll up your sleeves, and immerse yourself in the rich, vibrant world of Russian cuisine. Whether you are an experienced cook or a beginner, this Borscht recipe with its twists promises a culinary journey filled with fun, flavors, and fulfillment. Happy cooking from Natasha’s kitchen to yours!

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