Chunky Borscht


Brothy and brimming with beets, parsnips, turnip, celery root, and slices of kielbasa, this earthy beet soup gets a finishing touch of sour cream and fresh dill. Serve it in big bowls with plenty of crusty bread for an appetizing cold-weather dinner.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

Chunky Borscht
Photo: © Christina Holmes


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thin slices

  • 1 small celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

  • 2 cups drained diced canned beets (one 15-ounce can)

  • 1 1/2 cups drained diced canned tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)

  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium beef broth or homemade stock

  • 3 cups water

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

  • 1/2 pound kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, celery root, turnip, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the beets, tomatoes, broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the kielbasa. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup dill. Serve topped with the sour cream and the remaining 3 tablespoons dill.


Variation: Instead of the kielbasa, you can use the same amount of Black Forest ham, or any good smoked ham, cut into small chunks.

Suggested Pairing

California Sauvignon Blanc has enough intensity of taste to stand up to the borscht, and the subtly herbal nature of its flavor will accentuate the dill nicely.

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