Vibrant Purple Vegetarian Borscht with Sour Cream and Radishes

Vegetarian Borscht

This Vegetarian Borscht is straight-up INSANE! This veggie packed soup is hearty, majorly flavorful, and freezes really well because I don’t use potatoes in this recipe. 

I travelled throughout the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and found myself eating some version of Borscht every single day. I’m not even kidding! Sometimes it was chilled, sometimes piping hot, sometimes packed with savory beef, occasionally vegan, but usually with a dollop of sour cream in the mix!

A bowl of Borscht close-up. Topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill.
This Vegetarian Borscht is a great vegetable packed meal you can make in advance; the flavors taste even better the next day!

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Vegetarian Borscht

Sacha Hirschfeld
This Vegetarian Borscht is straight-up INSANE! This veggie packed soup is hearty, majorly flavorful, and freezes really well because I don't use potatoes in this recipe. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soups
Cuisine Eastern European, Ukranian
Servings 6
Calories 187 kcal


  • 1 large Dutch oven
  • 1 wooden spoon


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted butter cultured butter if you have it
  • 1 cup carrots sliced
  • cup celery sliced
  • 1 ½ cups onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic cloves minced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ lb cabbage core removed and shredded (about 5 cups); I used a combo of red and white cabbage but feel free to use what you like
  • 1 lb beets peeled and grated
  • ½ lb granny smith apple peeled and julienned
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 5 cups stock veggie, chicken, or beef
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dill pickle juice
  • ½ cup fresh dill chopped, plus more for garnish
  • sour cream optional; may sub full fat Greek yogurt


  • Prepare produce as per instructions before starting to cook.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook until they begin to soften, while stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with a three finger pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.
  • Add cabbage, beets, and apple; cook until the veggies soften and begin to reduce, about 8 minutes.
  • Add bay leaves, celery seed, and stock; simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat; discard bay leaves. Stir in apple cider vinegar, pickle juice, and fresh dill. Taste; season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream, lots of fresh dill, and pickled radishes (optional).
Keyword Farmers Market, Freezer friendly, Make Ahead Recipe, Vegan Adaptable, Vegetarian

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