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Traditional Ukrainian Borshch recipe

Traditional Ukrainian Borshch recipe:

Well, this is the first time I’ve ever attempted to write down a recipe; normally I would say ‘oh, its just a bit of this, a bit of that; salt to taste, and if it looks ok, that will do!’ But here I can’t just show you, so writing it out will have to do!

Borshch is the most popular soup in Ukraine, and in every region recipes vary – even to the point that each family has its own ‘secret ingredient’. So you can go from door to door, taste their borshch, and in every house it will taste slightly different!

Got you interested? Well, then you really need to come with me to Ukraine and taste it, but for now, try following my first-ever attempt to produce a written Ukrainian borshch recipe… Good luck!


Meat on the bone for tasty stock (usually pork). You can also make it without meat; just skip the first bit of the instructions.

3-4 fresh big beetroots, or 4-6 small ones (you can also use boiled beetroot)

1 cabbage

4-6 potatoes

2 onions

2 carrots

1 red pepper (my secret ingredient)

I can of chopped tomatoes

2-3 Bay leaves



1tbl spoon of cider vinegar

Crème fraiche to garnish

3 litres of water

Salt and pepper


Step 1. Put the meat in the pan and let it boil in the water with the bay leaves, salt and pepper for about 1 hour. At the same time put the beetroots in another pan and cook them for about an hour, until they are soft.

Step 2. Chop the potatoes into cubes and put them in a pan with the meat.

Step 3. Grate the cabbage and put it into the pan as well. Bring everything to the boil and then turn the cooker down to a medium heat.

Step 4: Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat, add chopped onions and grated carrots, and cook until they begin to brown – about 4 minutes. Add the beetroot, peeled and grated and cook all together for another 5 minutes, then add a can of chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, and vinegar to the mixture; reduce heat and simmer, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Step 5. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan with the boiling meat, potatoes, and cabbage; add chopped parsley and dill, and cover and cook until potatoes and cabbage are tender. Serve soup with a dollop of crème fraiche, and garnish with dill and parsley.

Smachnogo! (Enjoy your meal!)

Traditional Borshch

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