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Classic Russian Beet Soup (Borscht)

Beet Soup Recipe Print

Classic Russian Beet Soup (Borscht)

This recipe uses fennel stalks instead of celery. Use celery if you don’t have fennel stalks. Also, substitute chopped beet greens (tough stems removed) for the chopped cabbage, if you have them.

  • Author: Mary Leir
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large or 3 medium beets, washed and grated
  • 13 tablespoons red wine vinegar – be sure to taste as you go.
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or 3 tablespoons ketchup)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 fennel stalks, chopped small (or substitute 2 celery stalks)
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup deep red wine
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon Better than Bullion not Beef flavor
  • ½ head of small cabbage, chopped (optional) or chopped beet greens (tough stems removed)
  • 24 tomatoes, blended in vitamix or 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon marmite
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Angostura Aromatic Cocktail Bitters
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
  • 1 stick vegan margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: Sour cream and fresh sprigs of parsley or dill.


  1. Grate beets using a food processor. Place them in a large heavy-bottom skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar and saute for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to med/low and add sugar and tomato paste.
  2. Mix thoroughly and saute until starting to soften, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet (no need to wash it), saute onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 2 minutes. Add grated carrot, diced fennel stalks (or celery) and sautee another 5 minutes or until softened, adding more oil if it seems too dry.
  4. Place diced potatoes into the soup pot with broth, red wine, nutritional yeast,  liquid smoke and boullion. Cook 10 minutes, then add cabbage (if using), sauteed beets and blended tomatoes, marmite, Worcestershire sauce, bitters, smoked salt, and pepper. Cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Stir in parsley, margarine and garlic until margarine is melted. Add more vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Immediately cover and remove from heat. Let the pot rest covered for 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.
  7. Serve with vegan sour cream / vegan greek yogurt garnish.


Another substitution for the cabbage is chopped sauerkraut. You may need to reduce vinegar if using sauerkraut if you don’t like your soup really sour.

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