5 different types of borscht or try traditional Ukrainian soup in a different way

Everyone is certainly familiar with the thick soup, more or less red in color with a slightly sour taste, which contains plenty of meat and, above all, vegetables.

But what about its Hong Kong version?

Or a version without beetroot or with sauerkraut?

Choose from 5 recipes for borscht and prepare it, for example, in a slightly unconventional form.

Borscht with pork ribs

Borscht can be prepared in dozens of different variations, and this one is particularly tasty. The soup has a great bright ruby color and a delicate taste. The combination of soft vegetables and tender meat is accompanied by the aroma of bay leaves and black pepper.


  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 150 g of beetroot
  • 5 balls of black pepper
  • 1 kg of pork ribs
  • 100 g of cabbage
  • sunflower oil (for frying)
  • fresh parsley (for serving)
  • sour cream (for serving
  • salt to taste


  1. Cut the pork ribs into medium pieces.
  2. Peel the onion and cut it in half.
  3. Place the ribs and onions in the pot.
  4. Add black pepper and bay leaves.
  5. Cover with water and cook until the meat is done.
  6. Peel the beetroot and grate it.
  7. Heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan and add the beetroot.
  8. Add vinegar and a little water.
  9. Mix everything and cover with a lid.
  10. Simmer until the beets are done.
  11. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
  12. Add the potatoes to the meat broth and remove the onion.
  13. Rinse the cabbage, chop it and add it to the pot with the meat and potatoes.
  14. Mix everything and continue cooking.
  15. When the potatoes and cabbage are done, add the beetroot and any liquid.
  16. Then add the washed and chopped tomatoes.
  17. Peel the garlic cloves, crush them and add them to the borscht.
  18. Add salt to your taste.
  19. Boil everything for about 8 more minutes.
  20. Turn off the stove and set the borscht aside for 10-15 minutes.
  21. Ladle soup into serving bowls.
  22. Before serving, add sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.
Soup with beetroot and cabbage decorated with parsley and sour cream in a deep plate.

Borscht without beetroot

This version of borscht will especially be enjoyed by those who are not fans of beetroot. The soup is full of cabbage and is well seasoned. Try it yourself.


  • 1 kg of beef soup bones with lots of meat
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 2-4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) onions, chopped
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 whole red chilies (dried)
  • fresh dill (handful or to taste)
  • 2 cans of tomato puree
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (optional)


  1. Cover the soup bones with water and simmer until the meat is tender (several hours).
  2. Remove the bone and shred the beef.
  3. Add more water and make 8-10 cups of stock before adding the vegetables.
  4. Add the vegetables and spices and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, shredded beef and bring to a boil.
  6. Serve with sour cream.
Cabbage soup with vegetables, beef and sour cream on a deep plate with dill.

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Traditional Ukrainian borscht

This borscht is really hearty, tasty and full of vitamins. Its sweet taste will pleasantly tickle your taste buds and you’ll want more. It is usually served with soft garlic rolls or crusty sourdough bread.


  • 2 medium beets (grated)
  • 3 cups cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (grated)
  • 2 medium potatoes (diced)
  • 1/3 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 and 1/2 spoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

For the broth

  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 kg pork shoulder (trim the fat)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 whole pepper balls
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut in half)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and halved)

To serve

  • sour cream
  • fresh dill, parsley and spring onion (fine)


  1. Place the meat, water, carrot, onion, pepper and bay leaf in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. Remove the meat, let it cool and cut it into pieces.
  4. Strain the broth through cheesecloth and set aside.
  5. The broth can be prepared in advance and left in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Bring the stock back to a boil over medium heat.
  7. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet.
  8. Add the beets and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Add another two tablespoons of oil, then the onion, carrot and parsley.
  10. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  11. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup of the hot stock and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
  12. Add meat and diced potatoes to the boiling broth and cook for 15 minutes.
  13. Now add the beets, carrots and onions and wait for the borscht to start cooking again.
  14. Add cabbage with crushed garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste just before the borscht is ready, then stir in the finely chopped greens (fresh dill, parsley and spring onion).
  16. Turn off the stove, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
  17. Serve with sour cream and pastries.
Ukrainian soup with beetroot, cabbage and vegetables with sour cream and herbs on a plate.

If you’re a beetroot fan, be sure to try at least 1 of our sweet and savory beetroot recipes .

Hong Kong style borscht

A bowl of hot Hong Kong-style borscht will keep you warm all winter long. This tomato soup consists of beef bones and is full of vegetables. Hearty, with a hint of acidity from fresh lemon juice…What more could you ask for!


  • 500 g of beef bones
  • 250 g of beef, quite suitable for goulash
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 small carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 4 stalks of celery (finely chopped)
  • 170 g of tomato puree
  • 3 tomatoes (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 12 and ½ cup of water
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (rinsed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns (optional)
  • 2 red potatoes (peeled and diced – optional)
  • 2 and ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 1 and ½ spoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the beef bones and meat and bring back to the boil.
  3. Drain the bones and meat and rinse under running water.
  4. Set aside, drain and cool.
  5. In another large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  6. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the carrot and celeriac and sauté for another 3 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 4 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tomato puree and mix well.
  10. Add bones, meat, 12 and ½ cups water, chopped cabbage, bay leaves, and black pepper (if using).
  11. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  12. Then reduce the flame to medium heat and cook for 1 and ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  13. Remove the beef from the soup and cut it into pieces.
  14. Return to the soup.
  15. If you want, add potatoes and continue to cook for another hour and a half.
  16. Season with salt, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper.
  17. Taste and add seasoning if necessary.
  18. Remove the bay leaf and pepper balls from the soup.
  19. Transfer to serving bowls.
  20. Serve immediately with pastry.
Vegetable soup with Hong Kong beef in a deep plate with a spoon.

Sauerkraut borscht

This version of borscht is simple, but so full of flavor! You can add potatoes or carrots if you like, but for this recipe we will stick mainly to the traditional beets and cabbage. And, of course, sour cream and fresh dill must not be missing.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
  • half a medium head of cabbage, chopped
  • 5 or 6 medium-sized beets, peeled and diced, except for one that should be grated
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped sauerkraut, depending on how bold you want your borscht
  • 2 liters of good (preferably homemade) beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream
  • fresh dill


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and fry the chopped onion until golden.
  2. Add the chopped cabbage and chopped garlic, mix well and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients: beets, cabbage, potatoes if using and stock.
  4. You may need to add a little water or stock depending on how thick your soup is.
  5. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the beets and cabbage are tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, but remember that the soup will already be a little salty thanks to the added sauerkraut, so taste it before adding salt.
  7. Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh dill.
  8. As with most soups, this one tastes even better the next day, when the flavors have melded beautifully and settled.
Beet and sauerkraut soup with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill in a serving bowl with a spoon next to it.

The overall preparation of borscht differs according to individual countries and local customs, and there are so many variants that it is impossible to describe them clearly.

In some places, borscht is not thickened at all, in other places, on the contrary, it is thickened with broth or grated potatoes. The types of meat used also differ, and meatless borscht is no exception. On the other hand, in some places, borscht is topped with charred bacon.

There is also a relatively large diversity in the vegetables used. Beetroot is usually the basis, but sometimes tomatoes are also added to it, in such quantities that they prevail over beetroot, especially in more southern countries. Sometimes sauerkraut is also added.

In addition to vegetables, apples or other available fruits were also added to the soup.

Do you want to try other soups known for their tradition from other countries? Check out our soup recipes from elsewhere .

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)

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