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Russian Beef and Vegetable Soup (Borscht)

Russian Beef and Vegetable Soup (Borscht)

Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

This soup is the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s night—it is generous, warming and filling, chock-full of hearty, earthy vegetables and chunks of tender beef—and its vibrant red color, imparted by the beets in it, is sure to lift your spirits. A finishing dollop of cool sour cream provides luxurious taste and color contrast.


1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded (4 1/2 cups)

2 large beets (1 pound), peeled and chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half coins

4 cups low-sodium beef broth

One 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons white vinegar


Season the beef with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 minutes. Transfer the meat and any accumulated liquid to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the cabbage, beets, carrots, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the beef with its liquids. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juices, and 3 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until the meat and vegetables are tender, 1 hour. Stir in the vinegar. The soup may be refrigerated or frozen at this stage.

Serve garnished with the fresh herbs and a dollop of the sour cream.

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 2 cups

Per serving: Calories 280; Total Fat 11g (Mono Fat 5.9g, Poly Fat 0.9g, Sat Fat 3.9g); Protein 22g; Carb 24g; Fiber 6g; Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 660mg

Excellent Source of: fiber, folate, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc

Good Source of: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin

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