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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Red Lentil Golden Borsht - Instant Pot or Not

red lentil borsht

This red Lentil borsht takes traditional borsht to a whole new level. Its hearty, satisfying, vegan, and provides lots of plant-based protein. In other words, it could be a meal in itself. 

                                 Golden Beets, Gold Beets, Beets, Gold

Personally, I prefer to use the yellow golden beets as opposed to red beets in this recipe (but you could use either) Yellow beets have a milder taste and are a little kinder to my stomach. Red beets can be extremely cleansing which is a good thing if you don't have a sensitive stomach, but I do.

Memory, Traditionally, Toys, Ornament

The origins of Borsht is credited to Russia, Ukraine and Poland where it is a staple and a very popular dish. It is customarily made with chopped beetroot, cabbage, and a sour flavoring such as lemon juice, vinegar, or sour salt. There are as many variations of this type of soup as there are cooks. My paternal grandmother brought (link) her borsht recipe with her from Russia when she immigrated to the United States in 1906 at age 16.

Goulash, Soup, Lunch, Rich, Snack, Home

Red lentils have a wonderful flavor and add texture and bulk to any kind of vegetable soup. 

I had some big beautiful yellow beets in the refrigerator, so I thought I would make my yellow beet borsht. However, I wanted something a little heartier and something with some protein. I decided to use my yellow beets, some cabbage, carrots, onion, turmeric, red lentils and my old stand-by - chunky salsa to make this delicious red lentil borsht!

red lentil soup

I made it in the Instant Pot - EASY! FAST! WONDERFUL! But you can certainly make it the old fashioned way in a pot on the stove top.

Since it's soup soup season here, I've been making all kinds of delicious soups! Of course this soup is not only vegan, it is also gluten-free. 

Olive oil 
1 cup of diced onion
2 cups of cubed golden yellow beets, peeled
2 cups of chopped cabbage
1 cup of carrots, sliced
1/2 piece of whole turmeric, sliced or 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric 
1 and 1/2 cups of red lentils, washed well 
2  cups of chunky salsa
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water

Directions for Instant Pot 
Spray or coat the bottom of the Instant Pot insert liner with olive oil 
Add onions, cabbage, and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add beets, turmeric, red lentils, and salsa. Mix well and sautee another 3 minutes, stirring. Add broth and water. Secure lid, close steam valve, and set to pressure cook for 8 minutes. When done, allow to sit for 15 minutes before releasing any pressure. After 15 minutes, begin to release steam according to the manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, carefully remove the lid. Eat this as is as a chunky soup or partially blend with an immersion blender for a creamier version of this soup.

Directions for the stove top 
Spray or coat the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil 
Add onions, cabbage, and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add beets, turmeric, red lentils, and salsa. Mix well and sautee another 3 minutes, stirring. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer covered for about 30  minutes until lentils are cooked and vegetables are soft. Eat chunky or partially blend with an immersion blender. 

1. All of my recipes are vegan, gluten-free, and easy to make.


  1. I love both red lentils and golden beets, but have never thought of pairing them together in a soup. It sounds and looks amazing, Judee.

  2. I have some lentils now. Must try!

  3. I love Instant pot too!...the best way to cook legumes....I love borsht, and I use the Polish recipe that a friend from Poland shared with me. I should try it with lentils!.......Abrazotes, Marcela

  4. I've never made lentil soup with beets, and this delicious sounding lentil golden borsht recipe inspires me. Will pin this post to my "soup's on at my house" board. Wishing you a lovely day!

  5. This lentil soup looks so savory, thanks for sharing!

  6. It does look easy, fast, and wonderful. Trying it!

  7. Love lentil curries and soups, so nutritious meal! this one looks delicious, I love how you have used many veggies and broth, instead of water. I cannot wait to try it, thanks for sharing it ,Judee!

    1. It is a filling soup and one of my winter favorites. Certainly a meal in itself.

  8. looks good but i think there's a typo--in both versions of the recipe, you say "cabbage" twice--i think one is supposed to be beets. i'm assuming it's in the first round (sautee beets, onions and carrots) since beets take longer to cook!


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