Thursday, February 9, 2012

Borscht- Russian Beet Soup

Our Valentine Cocktail to start off dinner
Have you ever eaten borsht, a soup made from fresh beets?

Although I make lots of fresh vegetables, cooking beets is a little intimidating to me.

Beets are one of those vegetables that are super healthy for you, but a little ( alot) messy to cook.

However, I recently learned that a friend uses rubber gloves when she makes beets. Duh! Why didn't I ever think of that..

So, if you love beets, now is the time to make them.

Both sets of my Russian grandparents thrived on Borscht ( cold beet soup), and my paternal grandmother lived to the ripe old age of one 107 ! Until her death, she was feisty, dignified, happy... Longevity was prevalent with my Russian ancestors and so was borscht ( is there a connection??)

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         This is a picture of my relatives. ( 1940's  in Brooklyn, NY )

My paternal grandmother made homemade winter borscht with beets, potatoes, cabbage, meat bones, and meat. It was served hot and was a hearty healthy meal for the cold nights in Russia.

However, when she came to America, she started making  a vegetarian variety of borscht which she served ice cold and topped with a generous scoop of creamy sour cream ( I use thick Greek Yogurt)  When my paternal grandmother put the borscht and sour cream in the blender, it turned a beautiful hue of hot pink. It was a cooling meal on many a hot , humid, New Jersey night.

Why Are beets so healthy?  Beets are powerful cleansers and help build the bloodBeets are a good source of vitamins and minerals and a very absorbable form of iron.
This vegetarian gluten free borscht recipe contains not only beets but other healthy root vegetables as well. I like to use organic vegetables, which I think enrich the taste and reduce the pesticides.

Personally, I never really developed a taste for borscht until I was an adult.
However, I do love beets and will now occasionally make some summer borscht topped with creamy Greek yogurt. It's good in the winter too hot..
I don't use the commercially produced jars of borscht because they contain lots of added sugar and the broth is really thin and sweet- almost like a drink.
My homemade borscht can be delightfully tangy because I add a little lemon juice.

I decided to make it in the crock pot. Eat it hot or cold- your choice.

Judee Algazi @Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time in the Slow Cooker:


1 large yellow onion, sliced
Olive oil spray or 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large beets, peeled and quartered 
3 small carrots, sliced
8 cups of water
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons coconut milk per bowl


Turn slow cooker on high and add olive oil or spray with olive oil spray. Add chopped onion, carrots, and garlic and allow to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Add beats and water and lemon juice . Cook on high for 3 and half hours. Remove from slow cooker, allow to come to room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Eat borsht cold. Stir in 2 teaspoons of coconut milk in each bowl.

vegetables, beets, carrots, onions

borsht, beets, crock pot
Cook in the crock pot on high  for 3 and 1/2 hours or in a pot for 2 hours

borsht, blender, soup
Blend with or without Greek Yogurt

borsht, soup, glass of soup
My grandparents drank their borscht from a glass..

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Chocolate covered strawberries

I just recently discovered a website that has a soup linkys on Sunday. I'm going to submit this soup recipe, so pop over on Sunday and check out all the great soup recipes.



  1. YUM! I'd only have to make this for just me cause the hubby does not touch beets!

  2. Judee - Love Beets and have acquired a taste for borshct! Anything on the red side including red cabbage and maters...

  3. My kids love beets. I have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing this on the Living Well Blog Hop.

  4. I also did not acquire a taste for borscht - or beets in general - until I was an adult, but now I love them! I just love the photo of your family in the 1940s. I will have to give this a try :-)

  5. I really don't know how I feel about beets. I guess I'll give this a go!

  6. I love beets! This is gorgeous and looks so enticing! You could lure even the pickiest eater with this. And I loved reading about your family ... :)

  7. That looks really tasty, and a very neat looking treat.

    I love beets but Meredith has a sulfur allergy, so too many beets don't react well.

    We used to roast beets in the oven so the sugar carmelizes in them - they tasted so sweet.

  8. I love beets, but I have never made borscht, so I'm looking forward to trying your recipe. I like authentic recipes!

  9. Beets are a recent acquired taste for me and I love them in soups. This borscht looks delicious and a perfect Valentine dish.

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen--it is in this week's round up. Hope to have you back again!



  10. That is one different Valentine. I'm so happy that you decided to join Seasonal Sundays. Hope you'll be here next week too!

    - The Tablescaper

  11. This is perfect for Valentines! I'm definitely going to try making this, although I can't decide whether to make a hot or cold version of borscht. Pinned it!
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night! I'll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I'd love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe.

  12. I just tweeted and pinned this soup as one of my favorites from Sunday Night Soup Night! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again soon :)

  13. I had to come over and look at your borscht recipe as I have half Ukrainian heritage and remember my maternal grandmother making it. I also grew up in Brooklyn!


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