This Ukrainian borscht is a paleo and Whole30 friendly soup made with nutritious beetroot, cabbage and root vegetables. Serve with a dollop with cream or without.
If I had to name one dish that best represents Ukrainian cuisine it would have to be borscht. It’s a hearty, hot soup made with beetroot, which gives it a gorgeous burgundy red colour and sweetness.
Depending on location, borscht recipes include a variety of other vegetables, spices and condiments served at the table. My recipe is based on the flavours and textures I remember from my childhood, when I ate borscht a couple of times a week.
This recipe is vegetarian but you can definitely use beef broth (especially the nourishing bone broth) and serve tender braised beef pieces in the soup for extra protein, which is also very common.
If you can tolerate a little dairy, a dollop of sour cream on top is very traditional (and tasty) but you can easily go without or even try a little coconut cream or coconut yogurt instead.
Here is my Instant Pot borscht recipe.
Want to try more Ukrainian recipes? Check out my beetroot and root vegetable salad called vinegret, creamy eggplant salad, or unstuffed cabbage rolls with crispy bacon.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (ghee can also be used)
- 1 medium brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large celery stick, chopped
- 3 medium beets, peeled and grated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- ¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1.5 litre vegetable stock (or bone broth, if you like)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
- 3 tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Bunch of fresh dill
- 1 cup of sour cream (optional, or coconut yoghurt or cream)
- Heat olive oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and celery and sauté on for 3-4 minutes. Prepare the rest of the vegetables in the meantime.
- Add the grated carrots, beetroot, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir and sauté together for 2-3 more minutes.
- Add the potatoes, cabbage, and the rest of the ingredients, including the stock. Stir through and heat the heat up to bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and taste for salt. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add another pinch or so of sea salt. The soup should taste a little sweet but still savoury with a little acidity from the vinegar. Potatoes should be nice and soft.
- Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh dill and let the borscht rest, with the lid on, for about 10 minutes before serving. I always add a dollop of sour cream when serving, which is then mixed through the soup when eating. You can easily leave the cream out but it is the traditional way to eat borscht and it rounds out the flavours very nicely.