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Beefy Ukrainian Borscht Recipe (Gluten-Free)

Updated on March 5, 2015
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Chazz is an Interior Decorator/Consultant/Retailer, amateur photographer, cook, gardener, handyman, currently restoring an 1880 Victorian.

Photo used under royalty free license from
Photo used under royalty free license from | Source

Hearty Ukrainian Style Gluten Free Beefy Beet (Borscht) Soup Recipe

This Hearty Ukrainian Borscht is not a difficult soup to make, but it does take about 2 1/2 hours to cook. It can be served hot or cold and can be made the day before. In fact, I think it tastes better the next day!

This recipe comes from a Ukrainian friend's mother who served it topped with a huge dollop of sour cream. I've changed that to Greek Yogurt as it is healthier and tastes better than low-fat sour cream, which is another option. That won't make it a low-fat soup, but it will help. Or make it without the beef for a vegetarian version.

Hot or cold, Beefy Ukrainian Borscht can be a meal in itself or you can add some crusty Gluten-Free Multi Grain bread and a tossed salad.

Did You Know?

The ancient Romans used Beets as an aphrodisiac.

Scientists say it is because beets contain high amounts of boron, which enhances the production of human sex hormones.

Nutritional Value of Beets

Beets are very high in nutrients. They contain iron, vitamins A, B, C and E, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, copper, boron (see "Did You Know" above), calcium, magnesium, choline, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, selenium, zinc, amino acids, and other goodies.

They also contain phyto- nutrients that have anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxification properties.

Plus they are low in calories. One medium sized beet has fewer than 75 calories.

Don't discard the beet tops

The greens have even higher nutritional value than the roots. Sauté them lightly with spinach, kale, or swiss chard or add them to your juicer when making vegetable juice.


  • 8 Medium Size Fresh Beets, peeled: 6 julienned and 2 left whole, (I prefer to use fresh beets from the garden for this recipe, but you can use canned or frozen)
  • 2 Medium Size Carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 2 Leeks (White part only), cleaned and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 Parsley Root, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 Rib Celery, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1.5 lbs Beef Brisket
  • 10 Whole Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 to 2 tsp Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 tsp Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Qts Water
  • Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • Chopped Fresh Dill

You Will Also Need


and a Grater


a Heavy Duty Juicer

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours 50 min
Yields: 8 Servings

Why Eat Beets?

Beets have been shown to:

  • Lower Blood Pressure 1
  • Fight Inflammation 2
  • Have Anti-Cancer Properties 3
  • Contain Immune Boosting Nutrients 4
  • Boost Stamina 5
  • Support detoxification by helping to purify blood and liver cells 6


1. Nutrition Journal. 2012 Dec 11;11:106.
2. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985). 2009 Oct;107(4):1144-55.
3. Journal of Complementary Integrated Medicine. 2013 Jun 26;10.
4. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. September 2004 vol. 80 no. 3 539-549.
5. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985). 2009 Oct;107(4):1144-55.
6. Journal of Complementary Integrated Medicine. 2013 Jun 26;10.


  1. Melt the butter in a 4 qt. stockpot and add the julienned beets and carrots, and the sliced celery, leeks, and parsley root.
  2. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the water, beef, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer on low heat for 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, remove the meat, slice thinly and place in bottom of soup tureen or large serving bowl.
  5. Add the shredded cabbage to the soup. Continue simmering.
  6. If you have a heavy duty juicer, you can cut the 2 whole beets into wedges and juice them, pouring the juice into the vinegar. OR If you do not have a juicer that can handle beets, you'll have to do it by hand. Simply grate the 2 whole beets. Wrap them in cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into the vinegar.
  7. Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking (we prefer it on the crispier side as we like the contrast in textures), add the beet juice/vinegar mixture to the soup and stir.
  8. Ladle the soup over the meat in the tureen and sprinkle with dill. (Careful not to pour it in too fast as the tureen may break from the heat if it is china.)
  9. Serve with a dollop of Greek Yogurt (or, if you have no fear and no need to watch your weight, use the traditional sour cream) on top.

What Do Your Taste Buds Tell You?

5 stars from 1 rating of Beefy Ukranian Borscht

While the Soup is Cooking - Enjoy Some Ukrainian Folk Dancing

Serving Suggestions

L to R: Fitz & Floyd Glennbrook Tureen, Le Creuset Stoneware 3-Qt Cherry Tureen, Green Ceramic Turtle Tureen, Fitz & Floyd Toulouse Tureen, Fiesta 75th Anniversary Tureen in Marigold, and Spode Blue Italian Tureen and Ladle. All available at
L to R: Fitz & Floyd Glennbrook Tureen, Le Creuset Stoneware 3-Qt Cherry Tureen, Green Ceramic Turtle Tureen, Fitz & Floyd Toulouse Tureen, Fiesta 75th Anniversary Tureen in Marigold, and Spode Blue Italian Tureen and Ladle. All available at | Source

© 2011 Chazz

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    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh boy, this sounds delicious! I love beets!

    • MikeRobbers LM profile image

      MikeRobbers LM 5 years ago

      definitely tasteful lens :) thanks

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Great job on this interesting and useful lens.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      My ex mother-in-law taught me how to make her version of Ukrainian borscht. A bit different than yours, but yours sounds yummy, too. I make it every year and enjoy it, as well as the fond memories of the dear woman.

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      TheCheshireCat 6 years ago

      I would like this if someone else made it. Looks like too big a project for my teeny tiny kitchen.

    • AnnaWise LM profile image

      AnnaWise LM 6 years ago

      Lovely lens! Thank you for visiting mine!

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Terrific! I will add a link from my Ukrainian Christmas lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have never eaten Borscht but your Beefy Ukrainian Borscht sure looks good.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Sounds great and tasty. Very well served!

    • profile image

      ManOClay 6 years ago

      Sounds like a good meal! (I'll stick with the sour cream though!)