Serves a Crowd

Cabbage and Beef Borscht

March 24, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by Sarah Yaffa
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

This is my great-grandmother's recipe that continues to be a household favorite. My mom tells me how she used to wait for her mom to make this for dinner with a side of mashed potatoes. The way you're 'supposed' to eat this is to fill half of your spoon with mashed potatoes and fill the rest with soup.

My family tends to cook in very large quantities, but the great thing about this recipe is that it freezes well!

A couple of notes:
- if you really love beets, you can use two cans
- this recipe is dependent on your taste, so adjust to your liking! —Sarah Yaffa

What You'll Need
  • 1 Large (2 small) had of cabbage, shredded or chopped
  • 2 Onions, sliced thin
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 3 Celery stalks, sliced thin
  • 2-3 Flanken (sub short-rib)
  • 2-3 Marrow bones
  • 3 quarts Water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive/Canola oil
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 can whole beets
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sour salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
  • 1 Fresh lemon, squeezed
  1. In a soup pot (6/8QT), cover meat and bones with water. Simmer for about a half hour, skimming the foam off of the top.
  2. In a stock pot (10/12QT), heat oil and sauté onions, carrots and celery until soft. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, sour salt, crushed pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the combination of meat and water the meat was boiled in into the large stock pot.
  4. Bring to a boil and add cabbage. Bring back to a boil and then simmer with the lid on for about an hour and a half.
  5. Pour in lemon juice and can of beets with liquid. Adjust seasoning with brown sugar, additional lemon if needed, salt pepper and crushed pepper according to your liking.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Yaffa
    Sarah Yaffa
  • Scsteiner
Sarah Yaffa

Recipe by: Sarah Yaffa

Data Analyst @ Food52

3 Reviews

Scsteiner December 29, 2021
This soup was wonderful. At the time of making I didn’t have beets will add next time.
This reminds me of the one my Mother use to make and everyone lived.
It was a touch spicy, but we enjoy it this way but if one does not then maybe only use 1/4 or 1/2 of the crushed red pepper. Hope more try this and enjoy.
Scsteiner December 22, 2021
Making now! It looks similar to what my mother and grandmother use to make! Thank you
I do want to mention that in the ingredient list it doesn’t mention beets or canned beets. I already went shopping and didn’t get any but I happen to have a couple fresh beets I’ll cook and peel and add to this.
Sarah Y. December 22, 2021
Oh my! Thank you so much for the note, my apologies. I just added to the ingredient list, I am just seeing I only mentioned in the notes.

I hope you enjoy - it's one of my favorites.