Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Beet and Cabbage Borscht

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
91 Calories
2g Fat
13g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 91
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 625mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 384mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Technically, borscht is any stew-type of soup. The best-known kind in the U.S., however, is made with beets and is a brilliant red color. This beet borscht includes cabbage as well; it is packed with roasted red beets, onions, cabbage, and white beans—a perfect stew for making it through a cold winter night. Homemade chicken stock adds a depth of flavor missing in canned varieties, but this soup is tasty even when made with plain old water for a delicious vegetarian version.

This recipe makes enough for a crowd but also freezes extremely well and is a treat to pull out of the freezer and heat up after a long day's work. It is particularly satisfying to devour on a snowy or rainy night.

Enjoy it with some homemade rye or pumpernickel bread, perfect for dipping chunks into the soup.


  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, or other small white beans

  • 6 large beets

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or vegetable oil or butter

  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, optional

  • 1 head green, Savoy, or napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced or shredded

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds

  • 8 cups chicken broth, or beef or vegetable broth

  • Lemon juice, to taste, optional

  • Plain yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche, for garnish

  • Fresh dill, chopped, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Beet and Cabbage Borscht ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Put beans in a large pot and add cold water to cover generously. Bring to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let sit 1 hour.

    Put the beans in a large pot and add cold water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Drain and return beans to pot. Cover again with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to keep a simmer, and cook until beans are tender to the bite, about 20 minutes. Drain beans and set aside.

    drain the beans in a colander

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Wrap beets in a large sheet of aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Let beets sit until cool enough to handle.

    Wrap the beets in a large sheet of aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Peel beets (their skins should slip off easily after being roasted) and grate them on the large-hole side of a box grater. NOTE: Your fingers may get a little red, so wear gloves if you want to avoid stained hands. Set aside.

    Peel the beets and grate them into a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. In a large pot over medium-high heat add oil, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes.

    In a large pot over medium-high heat add oil, onions, and salt

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Add garlic, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

    add garlic to the onion mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Add cabbage, stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage wilts, 3 to 5 minutes.

    add cabbage to the onion mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Add caraway seeds and grated beets. Stir to combine.

    Add the caraway seeds and grated beets to the onion mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, add beans, and cook until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice, if using, to taste. Serve hot, with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of dill, if you like.

    Beet and Cabbage Borscht in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

How to Store and Freeze Beef Borscht

  • This soup will last in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
  • You can also freeze this borscht soup in a freezer-safe container—making sure you leave some headspace—for up to two months.