Cold Beet Borsch

Cold meatless beet borsch (or borscht) is a must in my refrigerator in the hottest days of summer, and one of my favorite easy beet recipes.

All you do is make plenty of liquid with beets and add the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
(Click here for the recipe of cold borscht made with kefir)

Home-made, it does not have to be as sweet as the borscht in a jar you find in the supermarkets – so, adjust the amount of sugar to taste.

Cold Borsch Recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ pounds of beets
  • 9 cups water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional), to taste
  • 3 large boiling potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced
  • 4 medium-size Kirby cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup diced red radishes
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mixed scallions (green onions), dill, and parsley
  • Sour cream for garnish

What to do:

  1. Wash and peel the beets. Place in a large pot, add water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the beets are tender, 25 minutes or more, depending on the size.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beets from the liquid and cool until manageable. Grate on a medium grater, or cut into small cubes.
  3. Stir the beets back into liquid and return to the stove. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and vinegar and bring to boil. If the beets are not tender enough, simmer for additional 10-15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.
  4. Toss together the potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, eggs, and greens in a large bowl to mix well.
  5. Ladle the beet soup into bowls. Either spoon about 2 tablespoons of egg mixture into each bowl, or serve it separately in a decorative serving dish. The sour cream should be served on the side.

Serves 6-8


In my family, ½ to 1 teaspoons of citric acid is often used instead of lemon juice and vinegar. Add a little bit at a time and taste.

Combine the additional ingredients to suite your taste. My favorite is a tender, lighter version of borscht with eggs, cucumbers and scallions only. For a non-vegetarian version, add any kind of cold meats cut into small cubes.

Beet liquid will hold in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I like to prepare the egg-vegetable mixture each day (reduce the amount of ingredients accordingly) so the borsch tastes fresh.

More borscht recipes? Try these recommendations:

Cherry Beet Borscht
Jellied Beet Soup
Borscht with Mushrooms and Apples

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