My Favourite Vegetable Borscht Soup

April 26th, 2024


Before I introduce this favourite soup recipe, a quick thank you for the positive response I have received adding a support my work option to my website. This has been something I have been thinking about for some time and your generous support ensures I can continue to share recipes for everyone to enjoy. With quite a few people choosing to become regular supporters (on a monthly or yearly basis) I have decided to add a monthly check-in to the member bonuses. This will be a more personal interaction with recipe deep dives and stories from my kitchen garden, with the ability to comment directly if you like. My hope is that it will become a community of like-minded home cooks who find joy in cooking and nourishing our bodies, minds and souls with the food we choose to eat.

You can find out more about supporting my work here.


And now to the soup… For many years my go-to soup for the cooler months was my Nana’s chicken soup. When someone was unwell the first thing I prepared was a large pot of chicken soup. I am sure many can relate to this nurturing act and the resulting soul-warming soup. 

However, in the last few years, I started rotating with a different soup. One that is loaded with vegetables and pantry staples that I always seem to have on hand. A soup that feels like a hug in a bowl with layers of flavour and texture with each mouthful. The soup I am talking about is borscht. An Eastern European soup with history and many iterations (and spellings) depending on the country or region it is prepared.

I love the simplicity of borscht with a heavy focus on vegetables. I have tried many recipes and different styles with the common elements being beetroot, cabbage, often potatoes, with the essential herb dill, and some balancing sourness. Traditionally the sour flavour would come from the addition of fermented vegetables or soured cream but a splash of quality vinegar can also deliver this flavour balance. 

I have lost count of the number of times I have made this soup now, it has become ingrained in my kitchen rhythm. The recipe below makes a large pot that can be eaten over several days, or frozen for a quick meal down the track. I hope you will also find nourishment in this soup, and maybe it will become one of your go-to soups too. 

More Soup Recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

Favourite Vegetable Borscht Soup

This is a soup of many layers. Like the tale of the ‘stone soup’, little by little different ingredients are added to the pot. And with each new addition, I add a pinch of salt - a trick I learned during my chef cooking days to season in increments rather than all at once at the end of cooking. This results in the soup being seasoned from the inside out.  Dill is an essential ingredient in this soup. A fresh herb that isn’t always easy to find unless you have it in the garden (even then it doesn't always grow in abundance). Excess fresh dill can be chopped and frozen in a free-flow bag. Or use dried dill, I am not usually a fan of dried herbs beyond oregano, but used quite generously it can deliver the required flavour to the soup. Parsley can be used as a stand-in, but it doesn’t really compare in flavour. 
Servings 8
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 2 medium beetroot (400g)
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water or stock
  • Salt to season - 1-2 teaspoons
  • 4 medium potatoes (600g) - Agria is my top choice for this soup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 ½ cups tomato passata (or use 400g can chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, undrained (or use 3 cups cooked)
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • Large handful of fresh dill or parsley, chopped + extra for serving (or use 2-3 tsp dried dill)
  • Generous grind of black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar (see recipe note below about adding sauerkraut)
  • sour cream to serve (optional)


  • Peel the beetroot and chop roughly into 2-3cm chunks. Place into a large saucepan, add the water with a generous pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a simmer then cook for 20 minutes until the beetroot is just beginning to soften.
  • After this time, chop the potatoes into 3-4 large chunks and add to the pot along with another pinch of salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes begin to yield when prodded.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the onion and grated carrot along with a pinch of salt. Saute gently for 8-10 minutes until beginning to caramelise. Add the passata or chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrot and tomato mixture to the soup pot. Followed by the cannellini beans, including liquid from the can or cooking water, and the shredded cabbage. And yes, add another pinch of salt. Continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the cabbage is soft.
  • Stir through the chopped dill and season very generously with cracked black pepper - at least 1 teaspoon - the more the better. Add a splash of vinegar (or see the sauerkraut variation below) and extra salt to taste - this soup can take a lot of salt with all the vegetables and legumes to soak it up, so don’t hold back.
  • I recommend making this soup in advance so it can mingle for a few hours to let the flavours infuse - it is even better the next day.
  • Serve with toast, a sprinkle of chopped herbs and cracked pepper to taste. Dollop with sour cream or cultured cream (recipe in my latest cookbook) if you like.


*If you have sauerkraut on hand it can be used to replace 1 cup of the fresh cabbage and to add a touch of balancing sourness. You may not need the vinegar if using this option. Add the sauerkraut when serving as the beneficial bacteria can be destroyed by the high heat.

Join the Conversation

  1. This vegetable borscht recipe looks amazing. I love how vibrant and colorful the soup is, with all the fresh vegetables coming together beautifully. Your detailed instructions and tips make it so accessible, even for those who might be new to making borscht. The addition of dill and a dollop of sour cream sounds perfect for enhancing the flavors.

    1. Thanks, enjoy 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nicola Galloway Homegrown Kitchen © Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
error: Content is under copyright. Cannot be used without permission.