Ontario Vegetable Borscht

This big batch of a richly coloured, full-flavoured soup provides enough extras to freeze for mid-week suppers. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and crusty bread.

Cooled borscht can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze, pack into containers leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) headspace. For the best results and to save energy, let frozen soup thaw in the refrigerator on the day you plan to use it.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Serves: 12


  1. To make thick, creamy-tasting yogurt topping for borscht, place Balkan-style yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over bowl. Refrigerate and let drain for 1 hour. 


Unpeeled Ontario beets



1/3 cup (75 mL)

Coarsely chopped Ontario Onions

1½ cups (375 mL)

Can whole tomatoes

28 oz (796 mL)

Beef stock

4 cups (1 L)

Medium Ontario Potatoes, peeled


Caraway seeds

1 tsp. (5 mL) 

Coarsely diced Ontario carrots

1 cup (250 mL) 

Coarsely diced Ontario rutabaga

1 cup (250 mL) 


1 tsp. (5 mL) 

Finely sliced Ontario green cabbage

3 cups (750 mL)

Finely sliced Ontario red cabbage

2 cups (500 mL)

Dried dillweed

2 tsp (10 mL) 

Salt and pepper





  1. Keeping roots and stems intact, rinse beets thoroughly under running water; set aside.
  2. In Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt half of the butter over medium heat; cook onions until softened and translucent. Add tomatoes, breaking up with fork. Add stock, beets, 4 of the potatoes and caraway seeds; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove potatoes to bowl; mash until smooth and set aside. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer or until beets are cooked through. Remove beets and place under cold running water; slip off skins. Grate into bowl and set aside.
  3. Return mashed potatoes to pan, stirring until blended. Cut remaining potato into large dice; add to pan along with carrots, rutabaga, grated beets and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cover and simmer gently until diced vegetables are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in large skillet. Add green cabbage and cook until color brightens; stir into soup and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Add red cabbage and dillweed to soup; cook for 3 minutes or just until cabbage is tender-crisp. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and dollop with yogurt.

© – Source: Foodland Ontario, 2009.

Nutrition Information per 1½ cups (375 mL): 

Calories: 139 kcal

Fat: 5 g

Protein: 5 g

Carbohydrate: 20 g

Fibre: 3 g

Sodium: 535 mg

Iron: 2 mg

Calcium: 75 mg

Last Update – May 9, 2017

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