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):
Goes GREAT with Grandma Lil’s Stuffed Cabbage!
Instant Pot 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, meat scraps (if using), and dill. Stir well and top with the bay leaves.
- 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.
- Return the sautéed beets to the pot, along with the seasoned salt, lemon juice, and both vinegars and give everything a good stir.
- Ladle into bowls and top with additional dill and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, desired.
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!
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!
So glad you enjoy the new site! Try and it and let me know what you think!
I have never liked beets, but had a bowl of borscht in Russia a few years ago. Loved it, so decided to try your recipe. My husband and I both loved it….another winner from Pressure luck. Mine looks almost like yours and I’ll bet it tastes as good.
Could you use caned julienned beets and add after the other vegetables cook?
You could try. But I would think it wouldn’t taste as fresh.
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!
This comment is everything, Tommy! Thanks so much for trying it and I’m thrilled everyone enjoyed it!
Mine is cooking as I type. Can’t wait for my dinner.
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!
Can it be frozen?
This is a great recipe of a very traditional borsch. All ingredients are there including vinegar (which most western cooks ignore). I am native Russian and will use only this IP way to cook a borsch. Borsch can be really tricky to make.
This is an enormous compliment and I fully appreciate it!
So Obligatory backstory: 1x a week my daughters school sends her home with a fresh fruit or vegetable from a local farm with a activity and a recipe related to that veggie/fruit. When she brought home beets we had no clue what eed do as my wife and I had never had beets in our combined over 60 years of life. You have yet to fail us so we decided to check out of you have something. As we cleaned our beets which I made a big deal of changing into dark clothes. And wearing protective gloves to avoid being caught red-handed my excitement was met with a twinge of sadness. Golden beets…. so after I removed all my anti contamination suit and finished peeling I decided to press forward. We made it tonight and aside from being nervous as my IP has never been this full before we were actually very satisfied. I personally expected more sourness to it which my wife comformed there is a bit but it’s not overpowering and she gave the mother of all compliments, “I usually dont like eating something more than 2x a week but I could eat this all week!” We also got a Thumbs up from my daughter whome we were concerned may not like it.
So we decided it will be done again after we eat all of this but with real beets. Thanks for the delicious recipe and I am taking some suggestions on anything to serve it with (I hear garlic rye bread is traditional).
Recipe request: George Washingtons peanut soup (as served at the Mt. Vermont Inn). Or the Senate bean soup.
This was an absolutely wonderful dish. The presentation was a real WOW!!! I love the idea of shredding the beets.
My Russian and Romanian grandmothers would have given this their seal of approval!
Can this be done on the stovd
I made some adjustments to fit my own tastes but I used this recipe as a base, even when I made just this one it was absolutely delicious, so thanks!
It does not taste like my moms borscht. But it still tastes good!
Made this for my dad who is Russian and Ukrainian. We were both curious how the IP version would stack up to Bubba’s version and we were not disappointed! I ran the beets through my Kitchenaid processor which was super fast and easy. Served with sour cream, dill, rye bread and a shot of chilled vodka.
I’ll take this as the highest compliment then! SO glad you all enjoyed!