Ukraine is cited as its place of origin. Its name is thought to be derived from the Slavic word for the cow parsnip, or common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), or from a fermented beverage derived from that plant. The more-palatable cultivated beetroot  eventually replaced the wild cow parsnip as the basis of the soup.


  • 1.5 – 2 pounds of beef or pork with bone
  • 0.5 cup dry beans
  • 1 large beet root or 2 smaller ones
  • 0.5 cabbage
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 parsley roots
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 table spoons tomato paste
  • 2 green peppers
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • 1 garlic


Soak dry beans for 2-3 hours.
  1. Cut the meat into pieces (and place them in a pot filled with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil and skim off any fat on the surface.
  3. In 30 minutes add the soaked beans, cover and cook for about 1 hour.
  4. While the meat is cooking, chop the beet as thin as you can.
  5. Place the beet slices into a frying pan with sunflower or vegetable oil and fry until soft (but be careful not to make it too soft!). You can add 1 tea spoon of vinegar to save beet color if you’d like.
  6. Chop the cabbage (also trying to make the slices thin), peel and chop the potatoes and just leave them alone for now.
  7. Chop 3 carrots, 2 onions and 2 parsley roots. Fry them until the onion is becoming golden.
  8. Now the fun part of the borscht recipe.
  9. Time to put it all together to make a master piece. But be patient, just focus on one step at a time.
  10. When the meat is ready add some salt, your 2-3 bay leaves, peppercorns and potatoes.
  11. In 5-10 minutes add your fried carrots, onions, parsley roots and beets. Also add the chopped cabbage. Now slow cook for about 10 minutes.
Add 2-3 table spoons of tomato paste, wait until it boils.
  12. Now add a little bit of sugar if it is too sour for you. Turn off the stove, but your borscht is not ready yet.
  13. Chop the head of garlic and the dill.
  14. Grind in a pestle and mortar and throw it into the cooked borscht. Wait for 10-15 minutes more, even if you find it hard to resist all of those delicious smells.
  15. Add a table spoon of sour cream in your soup bowl; sprinkle with a little bit of chopped parsley and dill.