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Dairy Borscht

March 26, 2021
Photo: Cole SmothersPhoto: Cole Smothers

There are dozens of types of borscht; some don’t even include beets. In the colder months, I enjoy so-called “winter borscht,” which includes meat and vegetables. But summertime, for me, means cold borscht, specifically the dairy variety, to which I add apples and spices, and reduce the amount of sugar that was traditionally used.

Borscht was one of the first processed soups, sold in clear jars by Gold’s and Mother’s. But there’s no reason you can’t make your own. I serve mine with sour cream on top and sprinkled with bright green dill.

Featured in: Beet the Heat With Borscht


  • 2 ½pounds beets, peeled and quartered
  • 1onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1stalk celery, cut in 3 inch chunks
  • 1medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1apple, cored and chopped
  • ½cup sugar or to taste
  • 1tablespoon sour salt (citric acid) or lemon juice
  • ½teaspoon curry powder
  • ½teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1teaspoon salt or to taste
  • sour cream
  • 2tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


  • Step 1

    Simmer the beets, onions, celery, carrot, and apple in 10 cups of water, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the beets are tender.

  • Step 2

    Put the soup in a blender and puree. Add the sugar, sour salt or lemon juice, salt, curry powder, and dried ginger to taste.

  • Step 3

    Either serve hot, or place in refrigerator to cool. Spoon into individual bowls and top with sour cream and, if you like, sprinkle with chopped fresh dill.

  • The borscht will keep, refrigerated, for at least a week.

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