• 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1 medium size red beetroot
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 leek with leaves
  • 1 large potato
  • 2 celery sticks with leaves
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 tbsp oil (or butter)
  • salt
  • 5-6 fresh parsley stems with leaves
  • (optional) sour cream, to taste

Borsch (also known as borsht in Russian) is a late summer or fall soup, typical of Slavic traditional cuisines. It is light and healthy, low in calories and it can be prepared with a variety of season vegetables.

Here is an easy to prepare family recipe for Bulgarian borsch. Keep in mind that you can improvise and make a different vegetable soup every time, so feel free to add the herbs and vegetables you like. This is a vegetarian recipe, but you can also replace the water with a homemade chicken broth that will thicken the soup and give it a distinctive taste.

Directions

  1. Finely chop all the vegetables: 1/4 red cabbage (or if you prefer white cabbage), 1 medium size red beetroot, carrots, 1 leek with its leaves, 1 large potato, and the 2 celery sticks. Reserve the celery leaves for seasoning later.
  2. In a large saucepan, pour the water, oil (or butter) and salt to taste. Add the finely chopped vegetables and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until vegetables are tender, especially the red beet pieces as they are the hardest ones.
  4. Cut the stems off the parsley leaves, finely chop them and add them to the soup.
  5. Adjust the seasoning with some extra salt if needed.
  6. Finely chop the fresh parsley leaves and the celery leaves. Serve soup in bowls sprinkled with a pinch of the chopped herbs. Add a tablespoon of sour cream in the middle of the bowl, if desired.

Serve this soup as an appetizer, or in a bigger portion as a main dish, sprinkled with parsley and celery leaves, a favorite Bulgarian seasoning for soups.

If you enjoy the traditional way to serve this soup, add a spoonful of sour cream in the middle that each person will mix in while eating. Bulgarians don’t typically put sour cream in the borsch as other Slavic cultures do, they rather pour in a few drops of vinegar. Alternatively try a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice to get that fresh tangy flavor.