Karelian Borscht

March  6, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/foodquartrerly.com
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

The ingredient list looks long but the steps to making a really good, heartwarming soup are short. It comes together in no time. I have never met a soup yet that didn't go well with the proverbial crusty bread and this soup doesn't buck that pairing. This recipe is adapted from The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups beets, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups chopped red or green cabbage
  • 2/3 cup carrots, medium dice
  • 1/2 cup fennel bulb, small dice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups broth, beef or vegetable
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound sausage, your choice, Italian and Wiesswurst are nice choices
  • Lemon slices and sour cream for garnish
  1. Melt the butter in an enameled 4-quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the grated beets. Cook the beets until they are tender.
  2. Add the fennel, garlic, carrots and cabbage. Stir a few times then add the broth, sugar, bay leaf and vinegar. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. If the sausage is raw, cook it whole in a separate pan being sure to brown the casings nicely. Once they are cooked, remove them from the pan, slice them and add them to the soup towards the end of cooking, and likewise, if the sausages were precooked, slice and add them toward the end of cooking as well.
  4. Once the sausage is warm, the veggies tender, serve the soup hot with sour cream and lemon slices on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gingarr
  • Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
    Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
  • susan.j.thornton
  • JanieMac
  • thirschfeld

9 Reviews

Gingarr November 4, 2020
Ohmy, this is so damn good. I used half beef/veg broth and half pho broth by Epicure. Also substituted apple cider vinegar, used Wiesswurst sausage, and just squeezed a bit of lemon juice in before eating. It's my first time making borscht and I am so impressed! Thanks for a great easy recipe.
myartofbeinghere April 19, 2020
Just wanted to say how much I love this recipe. I've made it over and over, and find myself craving it every winter. It could not be more delicious, and it's so easy to put together.
Nanda D. January 1, 2017
A very beautiful soup! The Polish mother of one of my friends would call for some Pimenta/Allspice :)
Shortrib November 20, 2016
This is delicious! It took much longer than 30 min for my carrots to become tender, but perhaps my heat was too low. This is the perfect antidote to a windy, sniffley Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam!
susan.j.thornton January 15, 2013
I made this tonight and it was amazing!
JanieMac January 2, 2013
Perfect! Just what I was dreaming of, something clean with beetroot and fennel. I couldn't agree more about the resolution dilemma, there is so little left worth giving up but all sorts of things worth trying. This will be the year of adding good things.
thirschfeld January 2, 2013
Glad to hear other people dream of beets and fennel! I hope you enjoy it.
anniemax December 31, 2012
I really think you mean "Karelian" borscht, no?
thirschfeld December 31, 2012
Sometimes I post these recipes early in the morning without wearing my glasses. I always know better then to do that and I always make a typo. Thanks for catching that.