Recipe: Ukrainian borsch by World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that feeds people in the aftermath of global disasters, offers this recipe in its new cookbook, set to hit bookstores Sept. 12.

The World Central Kitchen, Jose Andres’ non-profit that feeds people in disaster-stricken areas around the world, has released a new cookbook. This bright red Ukrainian Borsch soup, served with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with dill, is one of the recipes in “The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope” (due out Sept. 12 from Clarkson Potter, $35).

“There are as many recipes for borsch as there are babusias (grandmothers),” the editors of the cookbook write about this recipe, “and at our kitchen in Poland, right on the border with Ukraine, we made many different versions, depending on who was cooking and what recipe their grandmother taught them… This hearty vegetarian version with potatoes, cabbage, and pickles — all of which are beautifully stained by the beets — quickly became a favorite.”

Borsch in Ukraine

Serves 4 to 6 people


3 pounds scrubbed red beets, 2 pounds whole, and 1 pound peeled and diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large finely diced yellow onion

1 finely diced red bell pepper

3 minced medium garlic cloves

2 peeled and medium-diced carrots

1 tablespoon paprika (Hungarian)

one bay leaf

1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more as desired

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

2 medium peeled and diced russet potatoes

1 small head shredded green cabbage

12 cup pickle juice plus 1 large dill pickle cut into 12-inch cubes

1 cup sour cream, optional

1 bunch chopped fresh dill for garnish


Shred the 2 pounds whole beets in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop them roughly.)

Clean out the stockpot. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook until the onion, bell pepper, and garlic are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Cook until the carrots begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes, after adding the paprika, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper.

Bring the beet stock mixture, potatoes, and diced beets to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and beets are fork-tender.

Return the cabbage and pickle to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cabbage has wilted. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to warm through the pickle juice. The soup should be a deep red color now. As needed, season with salt. Take out the bay leaf.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped dill on top.

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