Vegetarian Borscht

Vegetarian Borscht

by Julie Pegg

This silky vegetarian borscht (vegan if using vegetable stock) is my riff on a soup I had abroad and a basic recipe. Feel free to adjust quantities according to your preference. Substitute golden beets if you wish


Four medium-sized beets (about 1 ½ pounds) washed and trimmed

Three medium carrots, peeled

One medium yellow onion, skin removed

Two garlic cloves, skin removed

8 cups water, chicken, or vegetable stock

Two bay leaves

Cracked peppercorns


Lemon juice or cider vinegar

Four hardboiled eggs (optional)

Sour cream (optional)


Note: Vegetable soup cubes and water can be substituted by vegetable soup stock.



Wrap each in tinfoil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until beets pierce easily with a tip of sharp knife.

Dice onion, and carrots. (Option: Saute in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter if you wish)

Chop garlic finely. Set aside

Let roasted beets cool a bit then slip skins off the beets with your fingers, or peel with a knife. Grate beets on a box grater and place in a soup kettle

Add carrots, onion, garlic and water or stock, bay leaves, and a teaspoon or so of cracked pepper to the pot. Adjust liquid according to your preference for thick/thin soup. Bring soup to boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook, covered, about 40 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add salt, lemon juice or vinegar for desired “tartness” and simmer another ten minutes. Adjust liquid again, if needed, adding a bit more water, stock, or a splash of beer


To Serve:

Soup can be served “as is” or pureed in a blender for a silky potage. (I sometimes puree half then stir the pureed and unblended soup together)

Ladle into warmed large soup plates. Spoon a dollop with sour cream or thick yogurt onto the soup, and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Quartered hard-boiled eggs are also a traditional Polish addition. A thermos of pureed borscht is the perfect pick-me-up to take on winter walk….

NOTE: Remove bay leaf before pureeing or serving

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