CrockPot Borscht Recipe

Day 364.

Good morning! I made borscht yesterday. I found a recipe in the January/February 2008 edition of Cooking Light, and changed it up a bit to work in the crockpot, and I am happy with the results. Since I've never had any other borscht, I don't really have anything to compare it to, but it was mild and tasty. I'd think of it more as a starter than a full meal. Wikipedia says that sometimes people add meat. Adam would have liked that----he dug around a bit trying to find some. Cooking Light didn't tell me I could have added meat...

The Ingredients.

--8 beets, peeled and sliced (wear old clothes! beets stain!)
--1 yellow onion, chopped
--1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
--1 1/2 cups chopped celery
--1/2 cup chopped carrot
--1 cup chopped parsnip
--1 potato, peeled and chopped
--2 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
--3 cloves garlic, minced
--1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
--2 T apple cider vinegar
--1/2 cup beer (Redbridge is gluten free)
--5 cups water
--2 tsp sugar
--1 tsp kosher salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1 T dill
--sour cream (at least 2 T per family member)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot. Coarsely chop vegetables and add to crockpot. You're going to blend the soup, so don't worry too much about how the veggies look.

After everything is chopped and thrown in, add the spices, vinegar, beer, and water.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. You want the vegetables fully smooshy so you can blend them easily.

Carefully (and wearing OLD clothes cuz of the beets-staining-thing) use an immersible blender to soupify. Ladle into bowls and top with a generous dollop of sour cream.

The Verdict.

Borscht is good. It's got to be incredibly healthy due to all of the vegetables in there---Cooking Light says it serves 8 with 164 calories a bowl.

It is red. Very, very red. It looked like raspberry jam to me---and that's what I thought of when I while I was eating it (it doesn't taste like raspberry jam. It tastes like vegetable soup made with beets). The kids were asleep by the time the soup was done and didn't taste any. I don't know if I'm going to be able to talk them into it. They're still kind of crabby from getting over colds.

The guinea pigs were thrilled to eat all of the beet stems.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 29, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Borscht is good stuff, we serve it cold but our Polish neighbor says that she grew up eating hot.
    This recipe is different than mine and seems much healthier (mine is from a 1970s cookbook) so I am going to do yours next time I cook borscht.

  2. Borscht has quieted the crowd!

    Very brave of you to try something so international. I'm really glad it turned out so well.

    Do you think it would taste ok with some meat? If so, what type?

    Have a great day! Thank you for another great recipe!!!


  3. As wonderful as this is on a cold winter night, vegetarian borcht is even more wonderful served chilled on a hot summer's night wiith a sprinkling of fresh dill and sour cream. Indeed, the crock pot is even more handy in summer when you don't want to heat up the kitchen. Actually, sometimes I like to just shread the beets using my Cuisinart grating attachment oprior to cooking instead of puree. My only challenge is finding beets in bulk - the ones attached to the greens are way to pricey.

  4. You must be so excited for this year to end! Any ideas for your 2009 resolution? Maybe nap and have take out every day?

    Thanks so much for this excellent resource. I've made the buffalo chicken dip and the Cranberry cinnamon hot punch thing. So very good!

  5. I'm surprised to see these comments from people eating borscht cold. My family has always eaten it hot. My vegetarian father makes his version with chunks of veggie Italian sausage in it, which has a good complementary flavor. Of course, he doesn't make his in a crockpot, and he uses canned beets. Anyway, hooray borscht. :)

  6. I love borscht and haven't had it for a while. I've had it with bacon, and it's really good that way. Cold borscht in the summer is usually just beets and yogurt or milk with dill (or that's how I've made it). I'm going to make some of this for New Years Day.

  7. Anonymous12/29/2008

    We've always eaten our borscht hot (with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of dill.) Before I became a vegetarian, I used my grandmother's recipe as is, starting with half a pound of stew meat (usually beef). Such a great soup. I'm sorry I hadn't thought to move it to a slow cooker: the meat would be so much more tender.

    (It's been 17 years since I've eaten borscht with stew meat, and posting about it makes drool a little.)

  8. I was going to try some borscht in the slow cooker this week but then I chickened out! Maybe I will try your recipe next week. My in-law have always used ribs in theirs - boiled them to make a broth and then picked out the bones. Not that healthy, but really good.

  9. Beet borscht is really good with bits of shredded pork too--and sour cream and dill, of course! I also shred my veggies instead of pureeing.
    I grew up in a community with a large Ukrainian population and have had some incredible borscht.

  10. This blog has been such a blessing to me! Thankyou for all the wonderful recipes over this past year! Happy New Year!

  11. I grew up eating bowls of cold borscht. I liked to mash the sour cream around so the soup was pink and each spoonful has some sour cream. I was easily amused as a child.

    We always had our borscht with cheese blintzes. My grandma made the best that I have ever tasted. I miss her(and her cooking) so much.

    I would like to try your recipe, but my husband and daughter wouldn't eat it. They are rather good eaters, but still pickier than I.

  12. Anonymous12/29/2008

    Pardon me if you've already addressed my fear, but what is going to happen to your blog at the end of the year? Will you archive it so we can continue to cook?

  13. I have a thing against beets. They just don't agree with me and they stain everything. I'm not okay with that.
    But what I AM okay with is your fantabulous (yes, I said fantabulous)wisdom in knowing that some dish detergent and a fabric softener sheet would do magical things to cement-like burned BBQ sauce.
    Seriously. You are amazing.
    You should, however, seen the look on my husband's face when he came home and looked in the pot, expecting roast (we had mini-hotdogs and cheese and crackers at a friend's house instead).
    It was hilarious!
    But my crock-pot is clean, and just in time for a roast tomorrow. With crock-pot liners.

  14. Oh my gosh.

    I just got a crock pot for christmas and have been dying to use it.

    Your blog just made my day!

  15. Oh, I love borscht! Best stuff ever! I hate my recipe for it though, so I'm excited to try this one some time. It looks so delicious!

  16. Anonymous12/29/2008

    My DH is Polish and his mom makes the most wonderful Borscht. It's hot, and not chunky. More like the stuff you get in the jar in the kosher foods section of the grocery store. It must be vegetarian because they serve it on Christmas Eve and Easter (no meat, fish only).
    We always put mini perogis in the soup at the table. Mushroom or saurkraut perogis. Yum. I think I just drooled.

  17. hmmmmm this may be my soup swap choice for the 9th of Jan

  18. Anonymous12/29/2008

    Yum, Borscht! I learned how to make it from my adopted sister who is from Belarus. They eat it hot there, and they put meat in it when there's meat to be had.

    I think that there tons of Borscht recipes out there, and some folks get downright insulted when you make Borscht different from how they do (people tend to throw the word "authentic" around a lot, as in, "my recipe is authentic. . .", etc. I get the impression that it's the equivalent of chicken noodle soup here -- common home cooking with many family recipes available.

    My sister's recipe uses chicken -- beef was always too expensive for her family. And she says that they eat it with black bread -- it's a really dark, dark bread that's hard to find in the U.S.

    Sorry to ramble, but your post has me missing my sister! (But I DON'T miss grating the beets for the soup. What a mess!).

  19. Just two days left in this year of crock potting for you. How sad this is for me and many (most if not all) of your readers.

    I've never had Borscht before but you make me Want To.

    Your daily email is going to be missed in my household.

    Good Luck in the next year.

  20. Anonymous12/29/2008

    Borscht can be served hot and cold; I've had both. I prefer the grated beet and chopped veggie variety w/ a plop of sour cream. Meat can be added when it can be had. Never heard of tomatoes in the recipe or the borscht being pureed. I guess there is always a first. I've also made a white cabbage soup and a fish soup from a long lost Russian cookbook 35 yrs ago: something put out by Time/Life Books. Short on recipes but rich in photos and Russian lore.

  21. I have enjoyed this blog so much, even though I discovered it only a few weeks ago. It's been a great help for meal ideas this fall.

    Just wanted to add: beet greens are very healthy and tasty! It you like beets, don't waste them! Check out Alton Brown's Beet Green Gratin at for one idea.

  22. I've enjoyed following your blog the last few months. I've made several of your dishes. Are you going to maintain the blog in some way for 2009?

  23. I hate it that I found your site so late in the year. I love it!

  24. Our grandmother was a little Polish lady who, by the time I was 14, I could see the top of her head, she was so tiny. But don't let her size make you think you didn't do what she said you had to do!
    She made Borscht for Easter and it was white, not beet red. However, next time you make this borscht, try it her way by adding some prepared horseradish to it. Add some while it is cooking and then have some horseradish in a bowl on the table with toasted bread cubes. You will never go back to the original recipe. "I gar-on- tee!" (Thanks to Justin Wilson for his word pronunciation on guarantee!)
    My best to you for 2009, and, I too will miss your daily loveletter in my inbox. I do hope that these will be archived, as I haven't had a chance to go back to the recipes posted before I got online from the Rachael Ray show. Please let us know that they will be archived so we can go back and learn more crockpotting recipes and perhaps springboard from them.
    From one wanna-be hippie to an actual one.
    Love and Huggs.
    Cait J.

  25. I got my borcht recipe from a high school friend's stepfather who was from the Ukraine. Not sure how 'authentic' it was. The 'secret' ingredient they used was ketchup.

    They used stew meat and grated the veggies rather than pureeing them.

  26. Anonymous12/30/2008

    My Polish grandmother made Borscht all the time. She never blended it though. She just sliced the beets very thinly. We ate it warm, but the best thing was she served it over mashed potatoes to thicken it up. Yum!!! She sometimes made it with stew meat too.

  27. ARE an adventurous one. Not a fan of the borschtzschtsehche. Did your pee come out beet-colored?

  28. I love borscht. My brother lived in Ukraine for 2 years and this was our favorite thing he learned to cook over there. I might have to try it in the crockpot.

  29. Anonymous1/02/2009

    Responding to Robs comment, we also only ate Borscht cold. Are recipe would of come from the Germans in Russia. We made it only in the summer with fresh vegetables from the garden. Beets, potatoes, carrots, onions and peas fresh dill in the soup, with alot of vinegar! Then you had to have it with sour cream. We never put meat in it but I have eaten it that way. So YEAH to the sour cream and dill.

  30. If you want it less red, you can mix the red beets with golden beets, or make the borscht with all golden beets. It tones the color down, and still tastes really yummy.

  31. Anonymous1/05/2009

    My favorite deli serves "a bowl of borscht with the works" -- cold borscht garnished with a whole peeled boiled potato, chopped hard-boiled egg, chopped raw onion, chopped peeled cucumber, and sour cream.

  32. Anonymous1/11/2009

    I will definitely try it. It is usually made with meat (I am Russian, I should know:)) But we are flexitarians (mainly vegetarians, with some animal protein once in a blue moon), so I will make it without the meat.

  33. Anonymous1/11/2009

    To CeeJay, Your grandma's borscht was white because it was not borscht at all , but schee/schi(not sure how to spell it). It is made with cabbage, and becomes borscht when beets are added.

  34. Anonymous2/12/2009

    Interesting blog! I found your site while looking for (another) good borscht recipe. I recently adopted 2 children from Russia and they really miss their cuisine. I have used a recipe from "epicurious" and it was delicious and the kids loved it...I used sirloin tips for the meat in it...and chopped the vegetables chunky.

  35. Anonymous12/11/2010

    I'm Russian. I guess, everybody puts in the borscht whatever they have. Since tomatoes grow well in Ukraine, they add tomatoes to their's. In Russia it is usually made without tomatoes. My family has a humble background, so there is no beer, celery or sugar in it. In summer my mother makes a soup with just the greens of the beets in it instead (however, it is not called "borscht").

  36. When I was little my mom would add boiled diced potatoes and a tablespoon of sour cream to our borscht. I just received 12 beets from our co-op this morning and steamed them all because my family doesn't care for them. I'm happily sitting in front of the computer right now enjoying one all by myself. I love your blog.

  37. nyneelie3/24/2012

    I've recently made the attached Beef Borscht.
    I browned the beef prior for one episode and
    followed the directions to a "T" for the other one. They both worked.
    This would be great in a crock pot. When I make it again, and I will, I will use the crock. (I would imagine cooking would be 6-8 hours in order for the meat to be tender)
    Here's the link:

    Oh and don't throw away those beet greens. Saute them with evoo and garlic. Superb and very healthy.

  38. I add precooked hamburger to my borscht so that my husband knows he's had a "real" meal. It's very good. We love beet tops too. I saute them in olive oil, and sprinkle onion power and galic salt, and pepper to taste. YUM...