How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian)

This post gives step by step instructions on How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian) – a delicious and healthy soup popular in Poland and other Eastern European countries.

How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian)


If there is one soup I actually crave once in a while and, as a result, make more often than any other soup it’s borscht soup. Today I am going to share my tips on How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian).

Vegetarian borscht ticks so many boxes for me! It’s easy to make, healthy, hearty and filling and contains on of my favourite vegetables – beetroot.  And I absolutely love the colour!

Back in December I posted a recipe for Polish Christmas Eve Borscht, which essentially was a simplified version of this vegetarian borscht. (Plus it had porcini mushrooms, absent in this recipe, and was served without any vegetables in it).  Today’s recipe is a hearty, satisfying soup which, served with a slice of good bread (whole grain, sourdough or rye will do), makes a delicious and healthy lunch.


How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian)


How to make vegetarian borscht soup

This beet soup involves a few simple stages.

  1. Start by frying the onion, garlic and celery in a little oil.
  2. Add the beans, beet quarters, half of the water, season, cover and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the beets from the soup and allow to cool.
  4. Add the diced potatoes and grated pickled beetroot, with the brine, into the soup and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime coarsely grate the beets, put back into the soup, add the remaining water, dill and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

See my Instructions below for more detail.

In this vegetarian borscht soup recipe (Polish ‘barszcz‘) I tried to recreate the flavour I remember from my childhood.  Not every borscht recipe is the same, which is no surprise. People have their own preferences as to flavour and texture, often based on where they come from or childhood memories.  This for me is a good thing as it shows what an adaptable and versatile vegetable beetroot is.

Other beet soup recipes you might enjoy

I have published a few other Polish borscht soup recipes.  This Polish Christmas Eve Borscht is also easy to make and vegetarian.  This Beetroot Summer Soup (Chlodnik) is served chilled, making a refreshing, delicious lunch idea perfect to enjoy on a hot day.  My Beet Greens Vegetable Soup is another delicious recipe made using beet greens.

You may also like my wholesome Vegan Beetroot Soup with Kale and Fennel!


How To Make Borscht (Vegetarian)


Despite there being such a variety of borscht recipes, they all have 2 things in common.  In addition to having beetroot as their main ingredient (rather obvious) they all contain an ingredient that adds sour, sharp notes to the soup.  While some recipes call for sour cream or yogurt, usually added once the soup has been cooked, others use vinegar, lemon, sauerkraut or pickled beetroot, which are usually added during cooking.

I like my borscht quite sharp and without the added calories of  sour cream so I chose the pickled beetroot route.  You can add either homemade or shop-bought pickled beetroot (it’s quite cheap and widely available).  You will need both the beetroot and the brine, so nothing gets wasted.


Do you have a favourite borscht soup recipe? I’d love to know what it is!  Comments, opinions, suggestions, stories etc welcome:)

Ho To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This post gives step by step instructions on How To Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian) - delicious and healthy soup popular in Eastern Europe.

Course: Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: East European, Polish
Keyword: beet soup, borscht
Servings: 10 people
Author: Everyday Healthy Recipes
  • 3 small/medium beetroot peeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 jar 340 g whole baby pickled beetroot (incl. brine) - coarsely grated
  • 3 small/medium potatoes
  • 1 cup cannelloni beans tinned, without the brine or presoaked and cooked
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 small celery stalk finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dill finely chopped
  • 6-7 cups hot water
  • 1.5 teaspoon coarse sea salt plenty of pepper
  1. In a large pot heat up the oil, add the onion, garlic and celery and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes stirring often.
  2. Add the beans and raw beetroot quarters, 1/2 the water, seasoning, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, peel and dice the potatoes. After the soup has been cooking for 10 minutes take out the beetroot pieces and put on a plate to cool a little.
  4. Add the potatoes and grated pickled beetroot and brine, into the soup, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes.

  5. In the meantime coarsely grate the beetroot (use rubber gloves if you are grating them by hand), then put it back into the soup, add the remaining water and dill, cover and bring to boil again. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and continue cooking for another 12-15 minutes or so (until the potatoes are tender).

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How to Make Borscht Soup (Vegetarian)

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Recipe Link Parties

I am sharing my easy borscht soup recipe with Meat Free MondaysWhat’s Cookin’ WednesdayCook Once Eat Twice. Also sharing with Fiesta Friday (the co-hosts are Frugal Hausfrau and Ginger & Bread), Cook Blog Share (the host is Easy Peasy Foodie). Also bringing it to Free From Fridays and Saucy Saturdays.

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  1. I lived in Poland for a couple of years when I was working as an English teacher and I really grew to love borscht, especially when it does have plenty of sourness in it! Before that I didn’t like beetroot and it’s only since then that I’ve started to like beetroot properly. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEAtTwice!

    • How fabulous! I think the reason people don’t like beetroot is often because they don’t really know it – you were in the right place to really start to appreciate it:)

  2. We all love beetroot here and love trying new dishes. This is a must try! Sorry for the late comment and I hope you have a good week. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

  3. What a wonderful recipe! I vary between a meat-heavy version and one similar to yours – the addition of beans is a stroke of genius! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us at Fiesta Friday!

  4. This sounds lovely. I only had borscht for the first time recently and I loved it so I’ll definitely have to try your version. My husband is a huge pickle fan too so I think he’ll enjoy this.

  5. Oooh this looks yummy! I have to admit that for all the beets we eat in this house I have never made borscht. Millie is poorly today and thinks that it looks so pretty! Thanks for sharing x #cookblogshare