Meatless Monday: Bring a bowl of creamy, crimson borscht to the table

Sep 29, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET

You've had them in salads, and probably as sides, but have you enjoyed beets in soup? A bowl of creamy borscht with cucumber-dill sour cream will warm and delight you, and that makes it an ideal dish served in the fall months.

There are many ways you can prepare borscht, a traditional Eastern and Central European beet soup. It can be served hot or chilled, chunky or creamy, with potatoes or cabbage, and it can be green or crimson in color.

I love this recipe, which is made to serve this soup creamy and warm. It's a beautiful, jeweled maroon color that will brighten any day. Serve it with a dollop of cucumber-dill sour cream for a nice contrast in color and a bit of coolness.

Creamy borscht with cucumber-dill sour cream

Creamy borscht with cucumber-dill sour cream recipe

Serves 4-6


  • 2 cups beets (2-3 medium-sized beets), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons fresh dill, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 peeled cucumber, diced
  • Plastic wrap


  1. Add the beets to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 8 minutes. Remove and allow the beets to sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, salt and black pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Add the beets and 2 teaspoons of the dill to the mixture, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. As the soup cools, add the sour cream, cucumber and 1 teaspoon of dill to a food processor. Pulse several times so some of the cucumber remains in small pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Working in batches, transfer the cooled soup mixture to a blender and carefully pulse until smooth. Return to the pan over medium heat until warmed through.
  6. Add the lemon juice to the mixture when warm, and stir to combine.
  7. Serve warm with the sour cream dolloped on top.

Bring beets to the table with this warming soup.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Baked sweet potato and leek latkes with thyme cream
Corn and quinoa-stuffed poblano peppers
Skillet cauliflower and zucchini hash with eggs