Traditional Polish Beet Soup – Easy Borscht Recipe

Deep purple color, slightly earthy, but also sweet flavor of beetroots – Traditional Polish Beet Soup is something you need to try this spring.

Last Saturday when I found a bunch of young beetroots on a farmers market I got so excited I couldn’t wait to get to my kitchen. I knew I’m gonna cook Polish Beet Soup. One of the tastes that every polish expat misses badly abroad.

Yes, we love our borscht soups in Poland. We have so many versions: cold beet soup, Christmas beet soup, spring young beet soup…

This is the recipe for traditional springtime borscht, as we will need young beets with leaves and fresh dill.

Why do we love Polish Beet Soup?

  • beautiful! who can resist this color?
  • very healthy thanks to: beets, beet greens and garlic
  • sweet and refreshing
  • easy to prepare
  • perfect light spring soup
  • great way to smuggle greens into your diet, if you don’t like to eat them is salads

Polish beet soup served in a decorative white bowl.

Key Ingredients in Polish Beet Soup

YOUNG BEETROOTS WITH LEAVES

For this soup we need young beetroots with beautiful green and purple leaves. We will use whole beets (zero waste!), even the crunchy stems. I get my beets on the local farmers market.

As you probably know beets are a super healthy vegetable, but young beets with beet greens are a true superfood. They are packed with vitamins (A, C and K) and antioxidants, and in my opinion they taste better than kale. Here’s more about benefits of eating beet greens.

Chopped stems and leaves of young beets.

POTATOES and CARROTS

Potatoes are a traditional addition to borscht soup, making it a bit more hearty and filling. You can use any kind that is good for soup, like: Russet or round white potatoes. I used Cyprus potatoes in this recipe – because this is the only kind I can get here, in Cyprus πŸ™‚ But they are delicious too.

Carrot adds a bit of sweetness, but we don’t want them to dominate the taste. We chop them in tiny slices or grate them with a vegetable shredder.

GARLIC

Garlic is a common ingredient in beet soups. It adds spicy, pungent accent to otherwise mild and delicate beetroot flavor. For this beet soup we want to chop it very thinly or even mash or grate it. We only want the taste without pieces of garlic floating in the soup.

Garlic combined with beetroots creates a super healthy duo. Did you know that the same compound that is responsible for strong smell in garlic is also super healthy? It improves our immunity and supports heart and brain.

DILL

Fresh dill is a must in this recipe. We not only use it for cooking borscht, we sprinkle some on top as a decoration too.

LEMON JUICE

Another ingredient that counterbalances sweetness of beets and carrots. Fresh Lemon juice adds freshness and additionally gives us a boost of vitamin C.

Young beets, carrots, potatoes, garlic and lemon on a kitchen counter.

Is Polish Beet Soup vegan?

Traditionally vegetables for a borsch soup might be fried using butter. I used vegetable oil instead.

Another (optional) addition, that might not be vegan in traditional recipe, is cream. I used plant based soy cream (from Alpro) that works great in soups and other hot dishes.

My Polish Borscht version is 100% plant based and vegan.

Traditional Polish Beet Soup with potatoes and loads of fresh dill.

Polish Beet Soup

Recipe by VegnFitCourse: SoupsCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cook time

30

minutes
Total time

40

minutes

Deep purple color, slightly earthy, but also sweet flavor of beetroots – Traditional Polish Beet Soup is something you need to try this spring.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of baby beetroots with leaves

  • 2 medium potatoes

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 3 large cloves of garlic

  • 2 tbsp oil (olive, sunflower, colza)

  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1.5 l vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill

  • salt and pepper

  • OPTIONAL / TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream

Directions

  • Peel carrots and potatoes. If your beets are nice and young and don’t have thick skin, it’s enough to scrub and clean them well.
  • Cut potatoes into bite size pieces. Carrots should be chopped finely, alternatively you can grate them.
  • Heat oil up in a soup pan. Fry carrots and potatoes covered for 5 minutes. Stir frequently so they do not stick to the bottom of your pan. Add 1 tsp salt.
  • Chop beets together with stems and leaves finely. Chop garlic, dill and prepare vegetable broth.
  • Add beets, garlic and vegetable broth to the pot. Add most of fresh dill leaving some for decoration. Stir, cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Check if potatoes are soft. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper according to your liking.
  • Serve sprinkled generously with fresh dill.

Notes

  • You can add plant based cream to your cooking pot when your soup is ready. I, however, prefer to leave the borscht clear and serve the cream separately. This way everyone can decide if they want their beet soup clear or with cream.

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POLISH BEET SOUP SERVING SUGGESTION

This traditional soup has potatoes inside, so doesn’t need any special additions. It can be served as a light lunch on it’s own.

If you want to make it even more filling and add some proteins – add cooked white butter beans.

Love beets like I do? Try:

Creamy Beet Soup With A Sweet Twist

Polish beet soup being poured into a white bowl.

How to make Borscht – traditional Polish Beet Soup

We do have many versions of beet soups, some of them more complicated than others. This is quite easy fuss free recipe for a delicious springtime beet soup.

Young beets, carrots, potatoes, garlic and lemon on a kitchen counter.

PEEL AND CHOP VEGETABLES

Peel carrots and potatoes. If the beets are super young and their skin isn’t too thick you don’t have to peel them. Just scrub and clean them under running water and cut the roots off.

You may want to use rubber gloves for that, as your hands will get purple. Or you can choose “I don’t care” approach, just like me, and clean your hands with baking soda later πŸ™‚

Young beets being held with a background of chopped beets with leaves.

Cut potatoes into a bite size chunks. They will provide a bit of a texture. Carrots need to be chopped finely, or even grated. We want them very soft, almost falling apart in the soup.

Beets need to be chopped finely, as they are the toughest vegetable and we want them cooked soft. You can get the idea about the proper size of every ingredient from the pictures.

Chopped potatoes and carrots with beets in the background.

FRY CARROTS AND POTATOES

Heat the oil up in the soup pan and start frying potatoes and carrots. You need to be careful, especially with potatoes, as they like to get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan, but stir vegetables frequently.

PREPARE VEGETABLE BROTH

Homemade vegetable broth is ideal, but good quality eco broth cubes are good too. I usually use 2 cubes per 1.5l hot water.

Chopped beetroots being added to the pot with carrot and potato.

ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS

Add chopped beets with stems and leaves as well as garlic and veggie broth. At this point you can also add 1/2 tsp pepper and 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Give it all a good stir and let cook in a covered pot for around 20 minutes.

Young beet leaves on top of beet soup.

ADJUST SEASONING

Check if the potatoes and beetroots are soft.

Try your borscht and add salt, pepper or lemon juice according to your liking. Polish Beet Soup should be lightly sweet with noticeable sour accent, without too dominant lemon taste.

Some people like this traditional beet soup with cream, others prefer it clear. I usually leave it clear and serve vegan cream separately. This way everyone can add as much cream as they like, or none.

Borscht soup served with dill and vegan cream, presented with vegetables and bunch of dill.

What about leftovers?

I usually cook Polish Beet Soup for 2 days. It’s equally, or even more delicious next day.

Keep it in the fridge. Next day heat it up slowly without boiling it.

Let me know if you liked Polish Beet Soup recipe! Please share it on Pinterest and Yummly!

Polish Beet Soup shown on two pictures in a while bowl with dill sprinkled on top.

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16 thoughts on “Traditional Polish Beet Soup – Easy Borscht Recipe”

  1. This beet soup was so delicious and comforting! The color is so lovely as well. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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