Traditional recipes

Best Beet Soup Recipes

Best Beet Soup Recipes

Beet Soup Shopping Tips

Buy fresh herbs and spices to season your soup; fresh garlic, parsley, and thyme will enhance the flavor without being overpowering.

Beet Soup Cooking Tips

Most soups are better the day after their made. If possible refrigerate your soup overnight before serving.

Easy Polish Beet Soup (Barszcz Czysty Czerwony)

Perhaps you have heard of borscht, the Eastern European sour soup made with beets and served hot or cold. The Polish word barszcz means borscht, but this soup is slightly different. Whereas traditional borscht is an opaque purple and commonly includes meat, tomatoes, and cabbage, barszcz is more of a basic beet broth that is somewhat translucent, whether red or white in color.

Traditional barszcz is often made with a kwas or sour starter sometimes people even chill this fermented starter and drink it, as you might with kombucha. However, if the soup is red, then the kwas was made with fermented beets (kwas buraków). If the barszcz is white, it was made with fermented rye flour or rye bread, (żur or kwas chlebowy).

This easy, clear red Polish beet soup recipe doesn't use a sour starter but instead takes a shortcut and gets the desired hint of sourness from lemon juice or vinegar. This soup is great eaten hot with boiled potatoes or cold with rye bread.

This meatless soup is often served with mushroom uszka ("little ear" dumplings) for Polish Christmas Eve dinner (known as wigilia). When the soup is served that way, it is then referred to as barszcz wigilijny.

Ingredients for Beet Soup

This soup looks impressive, but it’s not at all difficult. It can be whipped up with a few simple ingredients and some time on the stove. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Beets – Heart-healthy and rich in vitamins and nutrients.
  • Parsnip – For a creamy texture with less carbs than potatoes.
  • Ginger – Because who can resist that zest and spiciness.
  • Garlic & Onions – For richness and depth of flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth – You can make this soup as thick or thin as you’d like.
  • Salt and Pepper – a little sprinkle of seasoning.

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds raw beets, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds*
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped hard-cooked egg

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.

Add beets, then onion saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until squash start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.

Add caraway seeds and cayenne pepper continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.

Add broth bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until beets are tender, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree (adding fresh dill) until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)

Return to pan (or a soup pot) add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.

*To toast caraway seeds, heat 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat until they start to gently pop and smell fragrant. Cool slightly, then crush with a rolling pin.

Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf). Bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until beets and potato are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Place one-third broth mixture in blender or food processor process until smooth. Place puréed mixture in a large bowl. Repeat procedure twice with remaining broth mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Warm soup over low heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice.

Combine 1/2 cup soup and the sour cream, stirring with a whisk. Divide soup evenly among each of 8 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream mixture swirl sour cream mixture using the tip of a knife.

Ingredients German Red Beet Soup

4 red beets, about 1kg, preferably organic
300 g Speck (German bacon) or cooked ham, cut in cubes
2 onions
1 1/2 liter vegetable broth (use instant broth) – How to make Vegetable Broth –
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp marjoram, thyme
salt, pepper to taste
some lemon juice
sour cream, dill (optional)
potatoes (optional)

Peel the onion and finely chop it.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and salt with 1/4 cup of the broth until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. While they cook, peel and mince the garlic, if using add it to the onions and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining broth and reduce the heat to low. Grate the beets on a large hole grater directly over the pot so they fall right into the broth.

Once all the beets are grated into the broth, bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the beets are very tender, about 15 minutes.

If you prefer a creamy soup, whirl the soup in a blender or food processor, or with a hand-held immersion blender, until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.

Ladle into individual soup bowls. Garnish with yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche and/or herbs, if you like.

You’re Doing It Wrong: Beets

Beets are often described as having a sweet, earthy flavor, which is a euphemistic way of saying that their taste is unique and polarizing. Like the New York rock band named after them, beets are not for everyone.

If you like beets, great please keep reading. If you don’t, great there is absolutely nothing I or anyone else can say to change your mind. (The only thing you can do, if you want to make someone like beets, is to intervene while they’re still young.)

There are many decent ways to serve beets, and all of them require staining your hands fuchsia. If you want to serve them sliced in a salad, you can wrap them in foil and bake them. This makes them easier to peel, but it also makes them more prone to gush juice all over your countertop. The alternative—peeling them before you cook them—will turn the space between your fingernails and your fingertips maroon for days, but it is fairly straightforward, assuming your vegetable peeler is adequately sharp.

When raw, beets are crunchy in an unpleasantly wood-like way. But cooked, they’re dense, velvety, even creamy in texture. One of the nicest ways to showcase that texture is in a puréed riff on borscht, the chunky Eastern European stew. Borscht usually contains beets, carrots, and potatoes (along with various other winter vegetables). That trio of root vegetables blends into a charming, deep red purée that’s equally delicious hot and cold. The potato’s starch gives the soup more body, and the carrots contribute a soupçon of extra sweetness, but the beets dominate the soup’s flavor (and appearance).

It’s crucial to add a squeeze of lemon to this soup—beets and citrus are famously compatible, and the extra acid adds a stimulating base note that makes you want to keep eating.

Puréed Beet Soup
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and black pepper
2½ pounds beets, peeled and chopped
½ pound starchy potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
6 cups vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh dill for garnish (optional)

1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beets, potatoes, and carrot and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then add the stock.

2. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cook until the vegetables are fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and purée with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve hot or cold, garnished with the sour cream and dill, if desired. (Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.)

Easy Beet Soup Recipe

If you are a little weary of beets like I was, this is the perfect beet recipe for you. It is super easy, really tasty and, most importantly, healthy!

I was a bit nervous to let W try to eat the soup by himself, with a white t-shirt on no less, but I guess that’s what bleach is for!

To make this dish, you simply throw all the ingredients in the dutch oven or pot and blend it up.

If you want to make it really easy, you can get this super handy Cuisinart Blender & Soup Maker. It blends and keeps your soup nice and hot!

I hope you enjoy this Easy Beet Soup Recipe. If you want to make more beet dishes or find out other foods or spices that compliment beets, check out Healthy Beets.

Borscht also freezes exceptionally well and would make a good candidate for pressure canning too. And it’s a great way to use up all sorts of late summer and fall vegetables out of your garden that you might not think to combine otherwise (like tomatoes, carrots, beets and dill).

To freeze, allow your soup to cool and store it in a glass mason jar. Be sure to leave an inch or two for expansion.

When you're ready, simply defrost borscht in the refrigerator and heat in a pot.

All in all, if you’re looking for a frugal meal that is also healthy and hearty, and can be made entirely from ingredients out of your own home garden, I can’t think of anything better than this easy borscht recipe to warm the body and soul. And I should know, I am Ukrainian after all.