Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (2024)

Jump to Recipe

This Vegan Borscht recipe captures the flavor of authentic borscht in a vegan form. Picky kids approved, this healthy recipe won't skimp on flavor. As a Ukrainian, I make this easy vegetable Borscht with beans and cabbage every week and I'm confident you'll love it too. This post features everything you wanted to know about making this traditional Ukrainian Soup.

Also, try this delicious Slow-Cooker Borscht and Cauliflower Borscht.

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (1)

I know a thing or two about making Vegan Borscht.

I'm Ukrainian and this red beet soup with beans and cabbage is literally a symbol of Ukrainian cuisine.

When I lived in Ukraine, a hearty homemade Borscht was constantly on our weekly rotation. Probably, even more often than that.

Jump to:
  • What are the Most Important Ingredients for Borscht?
  • Why This Is The Best Borscht Recipe
  • Borscht Ingredients
  • How to Make Borscht
  • Expert Tips to Make Vegan Borscht Perfect
  • Recipe Variation Ideas
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Storing and Reheating
  • Similar Recipes
  • Recipe

Never Miss A Recipe!

Get HEALTHY Vegan Recipes straight to your inbox weekly!

Of course, I wasn't always vegan and our Borscht had to have some kind of meat in it. Vegetarian Cold Borscht and Green Borscht were super popular too.

After I switched to a plant-based diet, Ukrainian Borscht was the easiest thing to "veganize".

This simple vegan Borscht soup features so many good-for-you vegetables like cabbage and beans and it doesn't need meat.

Vegan Borscht is a hearty soup that you can serve as a standalone meal and I'll teach you how to make this classic Ukrainian recipe.

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (2)

But before we go into all the details on how to make Ukrainian Borscht, let me get this straight.

If you hear someone saying they make an authentic vegan Borscht recipe, don't ever believe that person and walk away.

Well, I'm kidding of course, but do you know that every respectable Ukrainian homemaker will claim her Borscht is authentic?

It is always funny to readUkrainian cooking forums where all ladies fighttill they prove their Borscht is the most authentic one.

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (3)

Here, I'm not going to claim my vegan Borscht is authentic. Because the truth is - no one knows a truly authentic recipe.

There are certain ingredients that you can use in order to call it Borscht, but other than that every homemaker has her own spin on this hearty and delicious soup.

Is this Borsch delicious?

You betcha. In fact, my vegan Borscht with beans and cabbage is the only recipe you need.

Believe me, if I say I tried countless Borsch recipes and I made many of these recipes at home.

But the version that I'm giving you today is my favorite.

What are the Most Important Ingredients for Borscht?

Despite the popular belief that Borscht has to have meat in it, this statement couldn't be further from the truth. It's also misleading to say that Borscht absolutely needs cabbage, beans, or beets to call it Borscht.

Nowadays, the above-mentioned vegetables indeed act as the basis for Borscht, but historically not all of them were used.

For example, in the Ukrainian region of Polesia - beets were scarce in spring. That's why the acidity of Borscht was achieved with the addition of berries.

At the beginning of the 19th century, tomatoes and potatoes weren't used either.

What we're aiming for in vegan Borscht is not the mandatory ingredients but rather the final flavor of Borscht.

It needs to be properly salted with the right amount of acidity. Yes, an acidic component is very important. That's why in Ukraine many people use beet kvass (fermented beet juice similar to kombucha) to make Borscht instead of a broth.

Why This Is The Best Borscht Recipe

  • Healthy: This vegetarian Borscht is packed with good-for-you ingredients, like onion, carrot, garlic cabbage, and beans. This all makes for a very nutritious and hearty soup.
  • Easy: Despite the fact that there are a few steps involved in making vegan Borscht, all those steps are simple and straightforward. You can do some of the steps ahead of time.
  • Classic Flavors: This recipe stays true to the traditional Ukrainian Borscht, offering a taste of classic flavors in every spoon even though it's vegan!
  • Great for a Standalone Meal: Unlike many soup recipes that are consumed before the main meal, this Ukrainian vegan Borscht is more than an appetizer. It's uniquely satisfying, has a good amount of protein and carbs and you can enjoy it as a meal on its own.

Borscht Ingredients

Here's an overview of some key ingredients for this recipe. For the full list of ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (4)

Ingredient notes

  • Flour is used to thicken the mixture of sautéed vegetables. It's what my mom taught me to do a long time ago and I've been adding flour ever since. The quantity of flour is very small but in the end, it will make your Borscht just slightly thicker and will almost bind the ingredients together. I use regular all-purpose flour, but you can replace it with gluten-free flour;
  • Sugar is used to cut through the acidity in my vegan Borscht with cabbage and beans and intensify the taste of it; Again, this is what my mom taught me. You'll need just a teaspoon of sugar. I used coconut sugar, but you can use brown sugar, organic cane sugar, Maple syrup, or skip this ingredient if you want;
  • Vinegar and lemon juice. The first ingredient is used to add some acidity to vegan Borscht. The second ingredient, which is lemon juice (not pictured in the photo) is used at the very end to make Borscht "just right". It's the final step in the whole process, where you adjust the seasoning and also make sure it has a good level of acidity. You can actually skip the vinegar and use lemon juice in both instances;
  • Beans. You can use any beans that you have in your pantry, however, most often Borscht is made with red Kidney beans.
  • Broth. So, my vegan Borscht is loaded with vegetables. Because of that, the broth is not mandatory. You can absolutely make it with water. If I have time, I make vegetable broth, if not, I use water and my Ukrainian Borscht with cabbage and beans is still delicious.

How to Make Borscht

Now it's time for me to show you how to make Ukrainian Borscht at home. It's easy and so delicious.

  1. Start off by cooking the beets for vegan Borscht. Wash and cut beets in half. Place a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and steam beets on medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove the beets with the tongs and cool down. Using a paper towel, peel the skin and shred the beets on a large hole grater.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (5)
  1. While you cook the beets, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, and over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (6)
  1. Meanwhile, slice the cabbage. Using a long knife or a mandoline slicer, thinly slice the cabbage.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (7)
  1. Sprinkle flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir for one minute. Add cabbage, sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a lid, and sauté for 20 minutes until the cabbage softens.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (8)
  1. Increase the heat to medium, and add cubed potatoes and the remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth. Stir, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (9)
  1. Add shredded beets, and kidney beans with all their liquid, salt, and pepper. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 5-10 more minutes.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (10)
  1. Turn off the heat, adjust the seasoning, and add lemon juice, garlic pushed through a garlic press, and fresh dill. Enjoy vegan Borscht with vegan sour cream and a slice of rye bread!
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (11)

Expert Tips to Make Vegan Borscht Perfect

Now, here are a few things worth mentioning about making vegan Borscht with cabbage and beans perfectly every single time.

  1. In the final step, when you adjust the seasoning, it's important to "make it right" as my mom says. It means you try your vegan Borscht several times and check if the taste is balanced. What you're looking for is first of all - properly salted and peppered Borscht so that you won't feel the need to add more salt. Second of all - you're aiming for a broth that has a slight acidity to it. How do you make sure you got it right? You'll feel it because this subtle acidity will make you want to sip the broth again and again. It'll be perfectly savory. That's why I often end up adding more lemon juice and salt than the recipe requires. Don't overdo it though. Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice at a time, taste the vegan Borscht and if it's not enough - add more.
  1. I strongly recommend you make a big pot of vegan Borscht. It is so good, you want to eat today, tomorrow, and perhaps even the day after tomorrow. A good, heavy-duty Dutch oven is your friend. In Ukraine, homemakers usually make huge pots of vegetarian Borscht and eat it the whole week, and I'm not kidding.
  1. Vegan Borscht with cabbage and beans always - always tastes even better the next day. Since it has many ingredients, overnight they meld and merry together to create an ultimate Ukrainian comfort dish, full of aroma and taste. This is the truth, my friend, which brings us to the first point: make a big pot of vegan Borscht so that you can enjoy this yummy Ukrainian Red Beet Soup or Cabbage Borscht with vegan "Smetana" (sour cream in Ukrainian) for several days in a row.
  1. You can also make vegan Borscht in your crockpot. Here's my Slow-Cooker Vegan Borscht recipe that I make very often. It's a tad different from this recipe but still very delicious.
Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (12)

Recipe Variation Ideas

As I said earlier, every homemaker has her own spin on vegan Borscht. Here's a list of possible ingredients that you can also add to this Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht with cabbage and beans:

  • Celery: If you're a fan of celery's unique flavor and crunch, this variation is for you. Simply add thinly sliced celery at the same time as the onion. This will add a refreshing crunch and a subtle, earthy flavor to your vegan borscht.
  • Parsley: Use parsley in addition to or as an alternative to dill at the end of the cooking process. The parsley will add a fresh, slightly peppery flavor that complements the hearty vegetables in the borscht.
  • Bay Leaves: If you love the subtle, slightly sweet flavor of bay leaves, you can enhance your borscht by adding one or two bay leaves towards the end of the cooking process. This will infuse the soup with a unique, aromatic flavor that pairs perfectly with the beets and cabbage.
  • Lentils: You can use red lentils instead of beans. I recommend rinsing a cup of dry lentils and adding them to a vegan Borscht together with the cubed potatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Borscht Vegan?

We can say so. Over the years, the major ingredients of Borscht have always been beets and cabbage. All other ingredients depended on the wealth of the household.

So if the family was poor, Borscht consisted of vegetables only. To add some richness, a homemaker would make "zazharka" (onion and carrot sautéed in oil) or "salo" (cured pork fat) and add it to Borscht.

When Borscht was served for special occasions or holidays, women would make it with meat, mostly beef.

Is Borscht Ukrainian or Russian?

Despite many debates over the origin of Borscht, it is nevertheless considered an authentic Ukrainian dish. UNESCO declared it an intangible cultural heritage.

The most popular Russian soup is shchi, with cabbage being the main ingredient.
Borscht is believed to be an adaptation of Shchi, but with the addition of beets.

What does Borscht taste like?

It tastes like a very hearty and rich savory soup with a lot of texture. Beets and tomatoes contribute to the slight sweetness of vegan Borscht. Lemon juice adds acidity, which balances out the sweetness.

Some Borscht recipes call for sautéing the cabbage in sour cream. In that case, the Borscht will have a noticeably creamy aftertaste.

Is Borscht healthy?

Absolutely. The number of vegetables that go into vegan Borscht, makes this soup healthy, wholesome, and suitable for anyone who tries to eat clean.

What do you eat with Borscht?

Usually, vegan Borscht is served with rye bread, garlic cloves, and/or green onions. If you want to make it even richer, serve it with a dollop of vegan sour cream.

Some vegan recipes call for making your own cashew sour cream. Unless you already have it in your refrigerator, I wouldn't bother with making it. Vegan Borscht tastes absolutely delicious on its own.

Storing and Reheating

Refrigerate: After enjoying a bowl of this delicious borscht recipe, store the leftovers in an airtight container or in the same pot you cooked it in. Keep it in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for 4-5 days.

Reheat Instructions: When you're ready for another serving, you can reheat the soup in a microwave or simmer it in a pot until it's heated through.

Similar Recipes

  • Vegan Dill Pickle Soup
  • Hearty Vegan Cream Of Mushroom Soup With Coconut Milk
  • Traditional Turkish Lentil Soup Recipe
  • Vegan French Onion Soup

If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Recipe

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (17)

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans

This Vegan Borscht recipe captures the flavor of authentic borscht in a vegan form. Picky kids approved, this healthy recipe won't skimp on flavor. As a Ukrainian, I make this easy vegetable Borscht with beans and cabbage every week, and I'm confident you'll love it too. This post features everything you wanted to know about making this traditional Ukrainian Soup.

4.91 from 43 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Soup

Cuisine: Ukrainian

Diet: Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 308kcal

Author: Iryna Bychkiv

Ingredients

Click on the highlighted links to purchase the ingredients.

  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 1 large carrot peeled shredded
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour replace with GF flour if you want
  • 1 ½ c cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar replace with Maple syrup, brown sugar or omit
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 can kidney beans undrained
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ¼ c dill chopped
  • 6 tablespoon vegan sour cream for serving, optional

Instructions

Start off with cooking the beets for vegan Borscht.

  • Wash and cut beets in half. Place a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and steam beets on a medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove beets with the tongs and cool down.* (See the notes about the alternative method)

    Using a paper towel peel the skin and shred the beets on a large hole grater.

Sauté the veggies.

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch Oven and over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Slice the cabbage.

Sauté the cabbage.

  • Sprinkle flour over the sauteed vegetablesand stir for one minute. Add cabbage, sugar, vinegar, tomato paste and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.

Cook the potatoes.

  • Increase heat to medium, add cubed potatoes and the remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth. Stir, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.

Add beets and beans.

  • Add shredded beets, kidney beans with all their liquid, salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 5-10 more minutes.

Adjust the seasoning.

  • Turn off the heat, adjust the seasoning (add more salt or pepper if you need to). Add lemon juice, garlic pushed through a garlic press and dill.

Serve.

  • Serve vegan Borscht with a dollop of vegan sour cream.

Video

Notes

Beans. You can use red lentils instead of beans. I recommend rinsing a cup of dry lentils and adding them to a vegan Borscht together with the cubed potatoes.

Cooking beets for vegan Borscht. You can also roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wrap each beet in foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50–60 minutes, depending on the size. Alternatively, if you own a slow cooker with a steam function, you can fill the bowl with 2 cups of water, place the steaming rack inside, and steam the beets for 15 minutes or until tender.

I strongly recommend you make a big pot of vegan Borscht with cabbage and beans. It is so good you want to eat today, tomorrow, and perhaps even the day after tomorrow. A good, heavy-duty Dutch oven is your friend. In Ukraine, homemakers usually make huge pots of Borsch and eat it the whole week, and I'm not kidding.

Vegan Borscht with cabbage and beans always tastes even better the next day. Since it has many ingredients, overnight they meld and merry together to create an ultimate Ukrainian comfort dish, full of aroma and taste. So, if you try Borscht the next time, you'll be amazed at how rich it tastes.

In the final step when you adjust the seasoning, it's important to "make it right" as my mom says. It means you try your vegan Borscht several times and check if the taste is balanced. What you're looking for is first of all - properly salted and peppered Borscht that you won't feel the need to add more salt. Second of all - you're aiming for a broth that has a slight acidity to it. How do you make sure you got it right? You'll feel it, because this subtle acidity makes you want to sip the broth again and again. It'll be perfectly savory. That's why I often add more lemon juice and salt than the recipe requires. Don't overdo it, though. Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice at a time, taste the vegan Borscht, and if it's not enough, add more.

Storage. Vegan Borscht should be stored in an airtight container or the same pot where it was cooked in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it will keep fresh for 4-5 days.

Reheat Instructions. When ready for another serving, you can reheat the soup in a microwave or simmer it in a pot until it's heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.4g | Protein: 13.4g | Fat: 9.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Sodium: 1629mg | Potassium: 1200mg | Fiber: 9.7g | Sugar: 10.9g | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 4mg

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @Lavender.And.Macarons or tag #lavenderandmacarons!

Iryna Bychkiv

Website

Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.

Vegan Borscht Recipe With Cabbage And Beans - Lavender & Macarons (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated:

Views: 6066

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.