Borscht Beef and Beetroot Soup

, from Issue #60. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Borscht Beef and Beetroot Soup

A classic Eastern European soup that starts off looking rather vivid from the raw beetroot, but the long, slow cooking results in a beautifully mellow colour. 

Serves: 4–6


2 tablespoons olive oil
600 grams braising beef, diced 2cm pieces
1 onion, sliced 
1 red capsicum, sliced    
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 large beetroot, grated (about 3 cups)
8 cups beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley

To serve
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup grated raw beetroot
½ cup sour cream


Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Season the beef then brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

Add the onion, capsicum, carrot and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in both paprikas, the caraway seeds and the beetroot, turning to coat. Add the stock, season and bring to the boil. Simmer very gently for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally or until the meat is very tender. A simmer mat is perfect for this. Stir in the vinegar parsley.

To serve: Divide the soup between bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of raw beetroot and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Cook’s tip: Accompany the soup with your favourite cheese scone recipe or warm crusty bread.