Borsch! This iconic soup, is brimming with earthy flavors and a vibrant ruby-red color. Beets, carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes are stewed in a rich beef broth, making this soup soul-warming for sure.
Chronicles of Borsch
Borscht is famously known as beet soup. Is it true? Not really. The beetroot is one of the components of this soup and contributes a vibrant red color and earthy flavor. But its really all of the vegetables stewed in a rich beef broth which make this soup colorful, appetizing and delicious.
Even thought the name and origin of the word “borsch” is from Slavic cultures, it was adopted and embraced by Armenians in the 1800s.
My grandmother perfected this recipe, and for three generations we made this dish unchanged and unabridged.
Grocery and Pantry List
As I mentioned earlier, borsch is a rich beef and vegetable soup. You can make vegetarian and vegan versions while omitting the beef (and beef broth) and using only olive oil for cooking.
Recipe Steps at a Glance
How to Make Step by Step
Step 1: Make the broth
To make the borsch, start with making a beef broth by using both the bones and country style boneless ribs. To bring the flavors out, first roast the beef bones in the oven. Once they brown nicely, place them in a stock pot and pour cold water over them. Once they come to a boil, skim the foam off and discard. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Step 2: Pre-cooking beet for color
Wash and scrub one small beet and cut off both ends. Place in a small sauce pan, with a couple of inches of water. Let it cook alongside the borsch for 20-25 minutes. You will add this at the end to the borsch, both the whole beet and the liquid. This will ensure you have a vibrant and rich red borsch.
Step 3: Prep the vegetables
Dice the onions , julienne the carrots and the beets, and shred the cabbage. Keep them separate, as they will be used in different order. Cube the potatoes and submerge them into a bowl of water to prevent oxidization. Slice the tomatoes and chop the parsley.
Step 4: Sautéing the vegetables
In a heavy bottom soup pot, heat the butter or the oil and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes until they are translucent.
Next, add the beets and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
The cabbage goes next. Keep stirring and sauteing for another 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoon of water or broth if the bottom feels dry. You don’t need to brown the veggies, but rather soften them a bit. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt with every addition. This will season all the vegetables and draw out the moisture.
Step 5: Adding the broth
Add the broth to the pot and let it come to boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat, drain the potatoes and add to the pot. Nestle the precooked beef morsels into the soup, then bay leaves and allspice go in next, followed by the tomatoes and half of the chopped parsley. Let the borsch simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
The finishing touch is to add the beet and the liquid that you cooked separately. This will ensure the vibrant and lively color of the borsch. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
The borsch is ready to serve. Add the remaining chopped parsley to the soup and a dollop of sour cream into individual portions.
There is also a saying that borsch is better the second day; and it’s always true. Overnight, all the flavors macerate in a broth and the pre-cooked beet oozes and exudes the crimson color.
Best Way to Serve
Tips and Wisdom from Cafe Osharak
More Recipes to Try From Cafe Osharak
If you try out this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you find it delicious and straightforward to prepare. I’m here to answer any questions and welcome any suggestions. Also, don’t forget to explore other recipes from Cafe Osharak that you might love!
Check out more soul-warming soups.
Borsch – Colorful with Flavor Loaded Vegetables
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 onion small
- 2 beets small
- 3 carrots
- 1 cabbage small head
- 3 potatoes
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2 bay leaf
- 4 allspice
- 3 tomato
- 3 tablespoon parsley chopped separated
- sour cream for garnishing
- Prep the vegetables.
- Dice the onion.
- Julienne the beet, carrots, and cabbage.
- Cut the potatoes in chunks and leave them in a bowl of water to keep them from oxidizing.
- Slice the tomatoes.
- Chop the parsley.
- Scrub the second beet (the smallest beet), trim it's ends.
- Place the beet in a small cooking pot with 2-inches of water and cook on slow heat, cover. We are extracting the color from this beet to add to the end of our cooking.
- In a cooking pot, sauté the onions in oil or butter. Cook until translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute.1 teaspoon tomato paste, 2 tablespoon butter, 1 onion
- Add the beets and sauté for a few minutes.2 beets
- Next, add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes.3 carrots
- Season with salt and pepper.salt, pepper
- Put in the cabbage and sauté with the other vegetables.1 cabbage
- Add the beef broth and meat and bring it to a boil.6 cups beef broth
- Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves, and allspice.3 potatoes, 2 bay leaf, 4 allspice, 3 tomato
- Cook for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are done.
- Add the beet that has been cooking separately, with the cooking water into the whole pot.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and dollop of sour cream.3 tablespoon parsley chopped separated, sour cream