Peace Corps Recipe #6, Borshch Soup

Borschch preparation

Borshch Soup (a traditional Ukrainian soup)

Recipe by Shelia Slemp

  • 2 ½ pounds of pork short ribs; pork bones with marrow
  • 3 quarts of water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (helps pull marrow from bones)
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups of cabbage, grated
  • 1-2 medium-sized beets (if firm, boil them separately for 15-20 minutes and then grate them; save some of the water to add to your stock if you later need more water, or just bake them 45 minutes to an hour to retain vitamins).
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 15-ounce can of beans such as Great Northern (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • 4-5 tablespoons of fresh dill
  • Sour cream

Prepare the stock:

  • Split the bones to help get to the marrow (that’s what makes the soup tasty).
  • In a large soup pot, add water and meat/bones and bring to a boil over high heat, periodically skimming off the foam as it rises to the top.
  • Add the remaining stock ingredients and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender, about 30-35 minutes.
  • When the stock is ready, remove all but the bones (e.g. meat, carrot, bay leaves) and set them aside.

Prepare the other ingredients:

  • In a saucepan, sauté onions in oil until they are translucent.
  • Add carrots, sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beets and cabbage, sauté another 3 minutes.
  •  Add potatoes to the stockpot and bring the water back to a slow boil.
  • Then add the sautéed ingredients and tomato paste to the stockpot.
  • Simmer for another hour.

During the last 15 minutes:

  • Add parsley and dill to the pot, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and scrape all of the meat off the bones and add them to the stockpot.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream.