Polish Borscht Soup

Polish Borscht Soup is a beet soup characterized by it’s lack of potatoes, meat etc. It is purer version of just beets and broth garnished with a bit of sour cream and dill.

The recipe is written using fresh whole beets and it takes about an hour to cook the beets.  Check out the Recipe Notes if you want to  substitute canned beets. With canned beets you can have it ready in under 30 minutes.

Cooked beets on a platter, ends trimmed

The Russian borscht is a very robust soup with many additions – but that is not the one that captured my heart!


We use to frequent a Polish restaurant in Montreal called Stash Cafè.  It is still there!  It has been more than 30 years since I have been there but the fact it is still thriving tells you something!

Interior shot of tables and bar at Stash cafe in Montreal

If you want comfort food at its best you have to go there.

If you can’t see your way to Montreal then try this Borscht soup!  It may not be exactly like theirs but it is definitely in the same category!

These Lemon Dill Rolls are perfect with this soup.  Add them and it could be you whole lunch!


Chef’s Tips

  • Cooking beets can bit a bit of an ordeal. I find roasting them in the oven for hours frustrating. They don’t seem to cook evenly and they get a bit dried out.  Roasting is fine for a roast vegetable dish but for this one  I used my pressure cooker.  It only takes 11 minutes for small beets and about 17 for medium beets. The beets are also nice a juicy still.  If you can’t pressure cook (or insta-pot) them I would suggest using canned beets with the juices.
  • I used homemade broth for both the chicken and the beef.  I can’t help but think it enhances the finished product but you can use store bought stock for sure.  If you want to keep it plant based then use vegetable broth instead.
  • The sour cream and dill garnish are optional but they sure do enhance the overall effect so try not to skip them.

Spoonful of borscht soup with sour cream


This soup is low calorie, clocking in at about 74 calories for almost 2 cups and  3 Freestyle Weight Watcher points.

Polish Borscht soup in a bowl with sour cream and dill garnish

Polish Borscht Soup

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Polish
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings


  • 3 medium beets cooked See Note 1 for canned beet substitute
  • 3 medium beets raw See Note 1 for canned beet substitute
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth (or sub 6 cups vegetable broth for chicken and beef)
  • 1 yellow onion rough chopped
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • fresh dill for garnish
  • sour cream for garnish


  • Trim the ends of 3 beets. Either pressure cook them according to your appliance directions or wrap them in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 60 minutes or until tender. When beets are cooked and cooled peel them.
  • For the 3 raw beets trim, peel and rough chop them. Put broth, onion and caraway seeds in a large sauce pan along with the raw beets. Bring to a boil and simmer 50 minutes until beets are tender and broth is brilliant beet colour.
  • While the broth and raw beets area simmering finely julienne the cooked beets. Strips should be about 3/4" X 1/4 ". Set aside.
  • When the chopped beets are done, strain the solids out of the pan, reserving the beet broth. Return beet broth to the pan.
  • Add the vinegar and the julienned beets. Heat through.
  • Serve with a dollop sour cream and a sprinkle of minced fresh dill.


Note 1 - you can substitute two 15 oz cans of julienned beets with their juice for the 3 cooked and  3 raw beets.
Reserve the julienned beets from one can and set aside. Chop them roughly in half.
  1. Combine one 15 oz can of beets and juice and juice from the second can with the broth, onion and caraway seeds.
  2. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Strain out the solids, reserving the beet broth. Return broth to the sauce pan.
  3. Add the reserved julienned beets and heat through.
  4. Serve with sour cream and fresh dill garnish.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 839mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g

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