Simple Vegetarian Borscht

Just look at that healthy, sexy red soup!  I don’t know about you, but it screams nutritious to me!  Borscht is such a humble and underestimated soup that I want to celebrate!

Borscht hails from Eastern Europe – Russia, Poland and the Ukraine, mostly – and is traditionally made with beef bone broth, giving it delicious depth to balance out the tartness.  If you are so inclined, feel free to use bone broth- or keep it vegan like I did– it’s up to you!

There are different types of Borscht (or Borshch). The choice of ingredients depends on the region or simply on what you have on hand. No matter which ingredients you use in the end, beetroot is the ingredient you need to get the typical red colour. As is true of most “authentic” Old World recipes, it is often said that there are as many different kinds of Borscht as there are cooks in the Ukraine. Not even my friend and her mother’s Borscht taste the same. You can vary your recipe according to your taste. It’s healthy and versatile. A plate of hot Borscht in winter will warm you up and in summer it will be very refreshing if you eat it cold. Especially vegetarian Borscht tastes great when cold. And do not forget to add some sour cream (regular or vegan) to it!

It’s your choice of which wonderful vegetables (and even some white beans) you add to your version.  Doesn’t matter too much, because beets (beetroot) are the main ingredient and everything turns that luscious, sexy color red!

The fresh dill really makes this soup, so it’s worth a special trip to find some.  You could use another herb (parsley or mint comes to mind) but it will change the flavor profile a bit.  It’s all good!

I am giving a simple coconut sour cream recipe here, but feel free to use whatever sour cream or even yogurt you would like.  I like this version because it doesn’t require a super powerful blender to make (like cashew sour cream does) and it turns out smooth and creamy.  The coconut flavor is extremely mild.  I don’t think you will notice!

This is an easy soup to make.  I like to roast my beets first, but that is not traditional and totally unnecessary!  Look at that amazing color!  I LOVE red!  I hope you will give this one a try if you have any interest in beets whatsoever.

Note:  As always, my attempts at traditional recipes here on this blog are my versions and not meant to be authentic in any way.  But my hope is they inspire and titillate!

Oh, and guess who absolutely loved this soup!  Try it out with your toddler and see what happens!

Simple Vegetarian Borscht

A healthy vegetarian beet soup (borscht) made with beets,
cabbage and potatoes. Simple to make on the stovetop or Instant Pot, it is full
of nutrients and flavor. Just what you need to start your year clean and
new.  Vegan and gluten-free.

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Russian, Ukranian
Keyword: beetroot, borscht, red soup
Servings: 8 2-cup servings
Author: Kiki Simpson, Healthy Sexy Kitchen


Coconut Sour Cream, optional

  • 1 can coconut milk or cream pour off any liquid
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 2-3 beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 2 medium beets roasted or raw, diced
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth may use chicken or bone broth, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh dill chopped


Coconut Sour Cream

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend well and chill in fridge while making borscht or at least 30 minutes.


  • Heat oil over medium heat in large pot or Dutch oven and add the onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add celery and garlic and saute a minute or two more. Then add carrots, potatoes, beets and cabbage stirring to combine. Add salt, allspice and celery seed and saute for another minute or until you smell the flavors combining.
  • Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all veggies are tender.
  • Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and about 1/2 of the fresh dill. Taste and adjust for salt and acid. Use the remaining dill for garnishing the soup in each bowl. Serve with a dollop of coconut sour cream (or whatever type of sour cream you like).


Feel free to use regular sour cream or any dairy-free version (like cashew sour cream) if you prefer. 

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