Ukrainian Borscht Soup

My heart aches for the people of Ukraine who are going through such a horrendous time at the moment.  I can’t even compute what this wonderful nation is going through right now.

One of my school friends has lived in and raised her three children in Warsaw, which is not too far away from the Ukraine. And last week her eldest son aged 22, drove with some of his friends to the border to rescue some Ukranian refugees – they now have a house packed with Ukranians back in Warsaw. I am so unbelievably proud of him, and I knew even when he was a little toddler, that he was born to be a very special human with a huge heart. These stories of kindness give me hope and are keeping me buoyed up and positive for the future.

Please help to raise funds for the #CookforUkraine appeal which has been launched by two Ukranian chefs to provide aid to children & families in Ukraine who have been displaced by the current situation. This is an amazing fund raiser which aims to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis the world faces right now. What can you cook, who can you cook for, how can the love of food and cooking bring us closer together?

This recipe is based on a wonderful traditional Ukranian Borscht recipe and is so comforting and nourishing. It’s very similar to the beetroot soup my Polish friends served up for me last time I was in Warsaw. It’s packed with iron rich beetroot as well as carrot, leek, celery and onion and a tin of white beans to add fibre and make it more filling.

I finished off this soup with dill, live yoghurt, and some very pretty (and mostly intact!) yellow and blue Pansies which I found growing in the garden this morning – how serendipitous.

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Ukrainian Borscht Soup

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soups
Servings 8 people
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian



  • Peel and dice all the vegetables. Wear gloves to stop your hands turning purple from the beetroot.
  • Heat a large pan and add the olive oil.
  • Fry the onion and leek for 3 minutes and then add the rest of the vegetables, beans as well as the stock, tomato puree and the red wine vinegar.
  • Add in the bay leaves and half the parsley and season well with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover the saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes until the beetroot and carrot are soft and cooked through.
  • Stir through some finely chopped dill.
  • Serve as a chunky soup or blend up the soup for a smooth silky version – I like blending up half and then keeping the other half chunky so you get a nice thick base with some chunks in. Drizzle on some live yoghurt and sprinkle on some more dill and serve with crusty bread.


  • Add potato, celeriac, parsnip or swede, if you have some in your larder that needs using up.
  • Plant-based: use vegetarian stock and almond or cashew yoghurt.
  • Store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
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  1. My half German husband, Stephen, has been requesting Borscht for years so now I have the perfect reason to make it as well as to benefit from its amazing health benefits! Time there too for thoughts and prayers for these suffering and brave people.

    Cousins growing ancient grains and running brilliant family farm and bakery in north York’s are joining the cook for Ukraine project and will be donating all proceeds from their shop sales on one day in March to this brilliant initiative. See Side Oven Bakery,

    Huge admiration for your friend’s son’s brave and selfless efforts – very special.

    Thank you Lucinda

    1. Oh no! I can see there are multiple other spellings: Borsch, borshch, borsht and bortsch. On balance because this recipe is in English and aimed at an English speaking audience, we think the more common English spelling, Borscht, is a little more appropriate than the Ukrainian language spelling of Borshch. But thank you for pointing this out!