Food & dining

Recipe for Ukrainian borscht

Olga Lisovskaya’s homemade borscht.
John Tlumacki/globe Staff
Olga Lisovskaya’s homemade borscht.

Serves 6

Serve this meaty beet and beef borscht with sour cream and dill, or parsley or sliced onion, and chopped garlic or chile pepper.


pounds boneless beef chuck roast
2carrots, each cut into 3 pieces
¼small celery root (celeriac)
3sprigs fresh parsley
½medium onion
3cloves garlic
2bay leaves
6whole peppercorns
2whole cloves

1. In a stock pot, combine the beef with water to cover. Bring to boil. Drain the beef, rinse it with cold water, and clean out the pot.


2. Return the beef to the pot with cold water to cover. Add the carrots, celery root, parsley, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring to simmer (do not let the water boil). Simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface several times.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

3. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 4 hours, adding more water, if necessary, or until the beef is very tender.

4. Remove the beef from the pot. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer; discard vegetables and seasonings. Cool and refrigerate separately overnight.

5. Remove the fat that solidifies on the liquid.


2tablespoons sunflower or other vegetable oil
1medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2medium carrots, grated
3medium beets, peeled and grated
½cup canned whole tomatoes, crushed
2medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced


1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Cook the onion, salt, and pepper, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the carrots and beets. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add ¼ cup water.

2. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut the beef into 1-inch pieces. In a stock pot, bring the cooking broth to a boil. Add the potatoes and cabbage. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the beet mixture and beef. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the beef is hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


½cup sour cream
1onion, thinly sliced
Few sprigs fresh dill, leaves chopped

1. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream and onion.


2. Sprinkle with dill and serve with crusty bread. Adapted from Olga Lisovskaya