Instant Pot Borscht

If you ask me my least three favorites foods, they are: raw tomatoes (loved them any other way though), goat cheese (but love cheese from sheep) and BEETS. I don’t know what it is – perhaps because they are a very earthy vegetable. But I was convinced I would need to find a way to truly love beets. And folks, it happened. In a Russian and Ukranian soup called Borscht.

Borscht becomes a stunning, vibrant red color thanks to the beets dying the soup and it only gives the soup a hint of earthy, while remaining full of rich flavor from a combo of ingredients such as garlic and dill. Now a Borscht is traditionally also served with potatoes and some meat but to keep those are totally optional. Either way, it’s a lighter dish and will be in my new, lighter cookbook! And it’s made very quickly and conveniently in the Instant Pot!

Here’s How I Made It (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):

Beets
Begin with some beets…
Beets being peeled
…and peel them.
Beet-stained hands
TIP: You MAY want to wear gloves while doing this or you risk some dyed hands! But you can easily get the red off by sprinkling some baking soda on your hands and rubbing them together with some warm water (like I did).
Grater
Take a cheese grater over a large bowl…
Grating beets
…and grate the beets.
Beets grated
Look at how pretty! Set aside and let’s prep the rest of our veggies.
Red onion, carrot and celery
Take a red onion, carrot and celery…
Red Onion, Carrot and celery diced
…and dice ’em up!
Potato
Take a potato…
Peeled potato in water
…and peel it, dice it up and let it submerge in water so it doesn’t oxidize (turn brown) for the time being.
Olive oil
Now add some olive oil to the Instant Pot and give it some heat.
Sauteing beets
Then, add in the shredded beets and sauté until softened (NOTE: Do NOT overcook the beets. If you do, they will begin to lose their color! )
Removing sautéd beets and setting aside
Remove the sautéed beets to a bowl and set aside. (NOTE: To the point above about overcooked beets losing their color, this is why only sauté then prior to pressure cooking and don’t actually pressure cook the beets themselves).
Adding olive oil to the pot
Add more olive oil to the pot…
Adding the carrots, onion and celery to the pot
along with the carrot, celery and onion.
Sautéing the vegetables
Sauté for a few moments…
Adding garlic
…and then add in some garlic.
Sautéing the vegetables with garlic
Sauté together for another moment.
Adding beef or vegetable broth
Pour in some broth…
Adding diced tomatoes
a can of diced tomatoes…
Adding potatoes
…drain the potatoes and add them to the pot…
Adding shredded cabbage
…and add in some shredded cabbage.
Adding scrap meat
Most people like their Borscht with some meat, so add in a cheap piece of scrap meat or meat bone if you wish.
Adding fresh dill
Add in some fresh dill…
Stirring the pot
…and give everything a good stir.
Topping with bay leaves
Lastly top it off with bay leaves. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Post-pressure cooking results of Borscht
When done, the soup is going to look like this. Not quite yet a Borscht, but soon to be one!
Removing the scrap meat and bay leaves
Using tongs, remove the meat bone and bay leaves.
Returning the beets to the pot
NOW we add the sautéed beets back to the pot!
Stirring the beets into the soup
As you stir it in…
The soup has now transformed into borscht
…you’ll see magic happen before your eyes! The soup will become a beautiful, deep red color – transforming it into a true Borscht 😉
Add the chopped meat from the bone
If you had some meat on the bone and wish to add it to the Borscht, slice it up and add it to the pot.
Add seasoned salt and lemon juice
A few final touches: add in some seasoned salt, lemon juice…
Add white vinegar and red wine vinegar
…red wine vinegar and white vinegar.
Give the pot a final stir
Give the pot a final stir…
Completed Borscht
…and THAT, my friends is a Borscht!
Ladle Borscht into bowl
Ladle into bowls…
Top the bowl with sour cream or greek yogurt and more fresh dill
…and top it off with some sour cream or greek yogurt and some more fresh dill.
Trying borscht
Now is the moment of truth (especially to a beet-hater).
Trying Borscht
Try it out…
Reacting to Borscht
…take a moment to let the flavors communicate with your mouth…
Trying Borscht
…and BEHOLD! This guy is now a FORMER beet-hater. Borscht is absolutely brilliant! It tastes like a rich vegetable soup where the dominant flavor is a bouquet of veggies.
Calling people into the kitchen to try Borscht
In fact, it’s SO good, you’ll want to call everyone into the kitchen to give it a slurp!

Goes GREAT with Grandma Lil’s Stuffed Cabbage!

Yield: 8

Instant Pot Borscht

Borscht

Borscht is a stunning Russian and Ukranian beet-infused soup that is filled with rich veggie flavor. Take it from a former beet-hater - this soup is magic.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and grated (gloves and an apron can be a great asset here to protect dying your hands and clothes from the beet juice)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch disks
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable or beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • A small piece of scrap meat, such as a beef bone or pork neck with some meat on it (optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Plain 2% Greek yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add the beets and sauté for 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil as well as the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, meat scraps (if using), and dill. Stir well and top with the bay leaves.
  4. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel, and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done. Remove the bay leaves and meat scraps/bone, reserving any meat you wish for garnish.
  5. Return the sautéed beets to the pot, along with the seasoned salt, lemon juice, and both vinegars and give everything a good stir.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with additional dill and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

If you want to be more carb-conscious, leave out the potatoes. While the borscht is cooking, you can microwave some cauliflower and add it in Step 5 (don’t cook it in the Instant Pot because it will become pure mush if pressure cooked for that long).

The reason we don’t pressure cook the beets is because they will become overcooked and lose their color. The soup will appear dull and bland instead of vibrant and flavorful—which is essential to a wonderful borscht!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jerilyn Strong

    Looks wonderful! I’ve never made this before but I will try It! Keep up the great work! You are inspiring so many to cook! And try new try new recipes! And I love the jump to the recipe button at the top!

  2. Tommy

    Made this Borscht yesterday for my Eastern European Wife and her parents. They were skeptical that a white Quebec boï would nail it.

    Let me tell you that It was successfully classified as a delicious and well made Borscht! Cheers!

  3. Ilana

    This looks great! I will make it for sure. Since this is in your light cookbook, I’m wondering why the nutritional information isn’t included in this recipe. I’d like to track the calories but I’d want it to be accurate. Thanks!

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