Ukrainian Borsch


(By Svitlana Malazonia, as passed down from her mother Alla Chernets, and her grandmother before that from notes taken in her kitchen in Artemivsk 9/21/98 by Joel Severinghaus. The beets-only “borscht” sold in American grocery stores is called “svikolnik”, and would not be recognized as borsch by Ukrainians, she said.)


approx. 8 C water

4 T. corn oil

approx. 1 C beets, peeled and julienned

approx. 2 C tomato juice

approx. 4 C chicken stock (or use

optional: diced tomatoes

vegetable stock for vegetarian)

1 sweet red pepper, minced

deboned meat from half a chicken (that

4 large cloves of garlic, pressed

was boiled to make stock)

approx. ˝˝ C or one handful flat leaf

8-10 small white potatoes (golf ball

parsley, chopped

size), peeled and diced

˝ tsp. Curry powder (secret ingredient)


˝ tsp. Taco seasoning (secret ingredient)

approx. 4 C cabbage, finely shredded

sour cream for garnish

1 large carrot, slivered (thin slivers cut


lengthwise, then cut crosswise into


slivers 2 mm x 2 mm x 20-30 mm


(grating is not an acceptable substitute)



Bring water to boil in large soup pot. Add julienned beets, cook covered at slow boil until beets turn white, about 30–– 45 min. Add chicken stock and chicken meat. Add diced potatoes, continue cooking covered at slow boil until potatoes are soft. Salt to taste (very important aspect of the family recipe that salt is added only in the middle, after the potatoes are boiled, and not at beginning or end.)


While potatoes are boiling, cook carrots and tomatoes in a separate frying pan. Sauté slivered carrot until soft in 4 T. corn oil. Add tomato juice to carrots and stir. Add optional diced tomatoes. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered.


Back to the main pot--when the potatoes are soft, reduce heat to simmer. Add shredded cabbage and minced red pepper. Simmer uncovered until the cabbage is just al dente, but not completely soft. Add the carrots and tomato juice mixture to the main pot. Add pressed garlic, chopped parsley, and curry powder and taco seasoning. Return to a boil, then immediately turn off heat, and cover until serving.


Garnish each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream.