How to Make Beet Borscht

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This Russian-style beet and cabbage borscht is part of the culinary repertoire of Jews hailing from Eastern Europe. You can make the borscht with beef broth or vegetable broth (in which case you can serve the borscht with either a kosher dairy or a kosher meat meal). The ruby-red soup is kosher for Passover and serves 6.

Things You'll Need

  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 c. grated onions
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegars
  • 6 medium beets - with tops
  • 2 c. chopped cabbages
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry tarragon
  • 2 tbsp. crushed matzohs
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 c. carrots
  • 6 c. vegetable or beef broths
  • 2 tbsp. olive (not virgin) oil

Bake the Beets

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Trim tops off beets, leaving 1 inch of stalk. Reserve the beet tops. Wash, scrub and towel off beets, but do not peel them.

  • Place the beets in a small glass or ceramic baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

  • Remove baked beets from the oven. Allow them to cool enough to be handled.

  • Peel off jackets and cut off tips and remaining stalks.

  • Grate the cooked beets in the food processor or by hand.

  • Place 1/2 cup of the beets in the refrigerator. (You'll add these when the soup is chilled.) Set aside the rest to cook with the soup.

Make the Soup

  • In a large nonstick stock pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the grated onion, 1 tsp. pressed garlic, cabbage, carrots, tarragon and bay leaf.

  • Sauté for 3 minutes and remove the bay leaf. Mix in the matzoh meal.

  • Add the broth, balsamic vinegar, the larger volume of beets, and salt and pepper to taste.

  • Cover and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. Shut off heat. Remove cover and cool.

  • Replace cover and place borscht in the refrigerator to chill completely.

  • Before serving, wash reserved beet tops. Dry them with a towel and chop them into bite-size pieces.

  • Heat the rest of the olive oil in medium-size, nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Add the remaining garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

  • Add beet tops and sauté for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove beet tops from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • To serve, place chilled borscht in large chilled bowls.

  • If you prepared the borscht with a vegetable broth, garnish with cooked beet tops, a dollop sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkling of chilled, grated beets. If you used beef broth, omit the sour cream or yogurt.

Tips & Warnings

  • Baking is a great way to preserve flavor and nutrients in root vegetables.
  • Since combining dairy and meat products is not kosher, omit yogurt and sour cream as condiments for borsht made with beef broth.

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