Russian Borscht

How to Make Traditional Russian Beet Soup

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Borscht is a meal that is no stranger to me or any other Russians, as it is a very popular dish in many west Europe and northern Asian countries. Borscht is one of my family’s favorite meals, as it’s hearty and tastes unlike any other soup. Borscht gets its striking deep red color from beets, which are a key ingredient and are quite healthy- they are packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, while being low in calories. Usually, borscht can take a good four to six hours to prepare and cook, though my own recipe reduces this time to only 30 minutes. Though my Russian friends may laugh at my quick borscht recipe, it has allowed me to easily cook with a busy schedule.

Though this recipe has many ingredients and can seem complex, the best part about borscht is that is is easily cooked in one big pot. I find that borscht is best cooked in large quantities, as it is great as a leftover that will stay good in the fridge for weeks.

In my household, we constantly have a debate over what’s for dinner. As my husband is a vegetarian and me and the kids aren’t, it can sometimes be hard to plan out dinners that cater to everyone’s needs. Usually I cook two different dinners, one being vegetarian and one having lots of meat. However, with this recipe, I can easily make a separate vegetarian borscht. This is easily done by simply leaving out the meat while everything else cooks in the pressure cooker, then serving the vegetarian borscht. I can then add the meat to the pressure cooker and let the borscht cook for another 10 minutes on the saute setting, and the meat is perfectly cooked for a hearty soup.

Using a pressure cooker is necessary to achieve a fast cook time for such a large amount of ingredients. I use my pressure cooker quite often, as it’s great for almost anything, ranging from soups, roasts, or baked potatoes. Pressure cookers allow you to cook things that usually require lots of time very quickly, so it’s great to have large meals cooked in less than an hour.

Food photography props used in this photo shoot

Some of the props might no longer be available in stores. I selected props as close as possible to match those items.

Salt and pepper shaker set

Black bowls

Black and white napkins

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