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The classic Slavic winter soup—delicious, hearty, and colorful. Nearly all borscht served in Russia has beef and makes a meal, but typically in western countries, we make a vegetarian version and serve before the main dish. I’m sharing the vegetarian version here. If you wish to include beef, slice 1 pound grass-fed beef chuck into bite-sized piece, saute with 1 tablespoon of ghee until lightly browned in a skillet, set aside, then add beef to the soup when you add the potatoes and cabbage.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Simmering Time: 30 minutes

Serves: Six


4 medium beets

2 Tbsp Avocado oil

1 medium white onion, diced

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp dried dill

1 tsp caraway seeds

2 medium carrots, ¾-inch cubed

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

2 cups purple potatoes (or baby red-skinned potatoes), cut into bite-sized portions

2 cups red cabbage, coarsely chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, diced

2 cups tomatoes, chopped (or 15 ounces canned, chopped tomatoes)

6 cups low-sodium organic vegetable or beef broth


Optional: 1/2 cup organic low-fat sour cream (or organic plain low-fat yogurt)

¼ cup chives, diced


Rinse beets and trim off the roots and tops, peel away the thick or unsightly skin.

Heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat, add oil, then add onion to the pan and sauté with salt, pepper, dill, caraway seeds for 2-3 minutes, until slightly yellow to golden. Meanwhile, cut two beets into ¾-inch cubes; grate the other two beets.  Add beets to the pan. Next add carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and chives.


Steven Masley, MD