Vegan Borscht Recipe – A Perfect European Dish 

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Vegan borscht recipe is a vibrant and nourishing soup brimming with the goodness of beets, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Its deep ruby hue, achieved without animal products, invites a feast for the eyes and the palate.

Seasoned with dill and garlic, each spoonful offers a comforting warmth, making it a perfect choice for health-conscious gourmets seeking flavor and nutrition.

Why Does It Work?

  • Beetroot and carrots bring a natural sweetness, enhancing the soup’s depth of flavor.
  • Incorporating vegetable broth adds a rich, umami base, eliminating the need for meat.
  • Dill and garlic infuse the dish with aromatic freshness, offering a layer of complexity.
  • A splash of lemon juice introduces a bright acidity, balancing the earthy tones.
  • Serving with a dollop of vegan sour cream perfectly mimics the traditional creaminess.

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Finding a hearty, comforting meal that satisfies the soul without compromising health or ethical values can be daunting, especially during the colder months. That’s where my journey to discover the ultimate winter warmer led me to the treasure of a Vegan Borscht Recipe. 

Initially skeptical about how a meat-free version of this classic Eastern European soup could deliver the same depth of flavor, I was pleasantly surprised.

The key lies in selecting the right combination of fresh vegetables and spices, allowing the natural sweetness of beets to shine through, complemented by the robustness of garlic and dill. 

This vegan twist on the traditional borscht warms you up from the inside and aligns with a compassionate lifestyle, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for values.

Vegan Borscht Recipe

What Is Vegan Broscht?

Vegan borscht is a meatless version of the classic Eastern European soup known for its distinctive ruby red color, primarily derived from beets.

This version omits animal products and relies on a rich blend of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and onions simmered in a flavorful vegetable broth. 

Herbs such as dill and garlic and a touch of lemon juice add depth and brightness to the dish. Vegan borscht embodies the essence of traditional borscht while being entirely plant-based, making it a hearty, nutritious, and ethical choice for any meal. 

Fact-Did you know that borscht, originally from Eastern Europe, has over a dozen variations? Its vegan version is a dietary option and a celebration of vegetables.

Vegan Borscht Recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the beets, carrots, and onions. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute, until very fragrant.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, cabbage, and potato. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add more broth or water as needed if you prefer a thinner consistency.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Serve the soup in bowls, garnishing each with vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh dill, parsley, and chives.
Vegan Borscht Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Spicy Borscht: Add a dash of cayenne pepper or a few slices of jalapeño to the soup while it simmers to introduce a spicy kick.
  • Bean Borscht: Incorporate cooked kidney or white beans for added protein and texture.
  • Mushroom Borscht: Sautéed mushrooms can be added for an earthy flavor that complements the beets and vegetables.
  • Tomato Borscht: For a tangier, more tomato-forward version, increase the amount of tomato paste or add chopped fresh tomatoes.


  • Grains: Stir in cooked quinoa, barley, or rice towards the end of cooking for a heartier meal.
  • Greens: Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard can be added in the last few minutes of cooking for a nutritional boost.
  • Herbs: Apart from dill, consider adding parsley, bay leaves, or thyme during cooking for additional flavor layers.

Vegan Borscht Recipe


  • Vegan Sour Cream: A dollop on top adds creaminess and a slight tang.
  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh dill, parsley, or chives adds color and freshness.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serving with lemon wedges on the side lets individuals adjust the acidity to their taste.
  • Nutritional Yeast: For a cheesy flavor, sprinkle nutritional yeast over the borscht before serving.
  • Toasted Seeds: Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds provide a crunchy texture contrast.
  • Avocado: Slices of avocado offer a creamy element and healthy fats.


Vegetable Substitutions

  • Sweet Potatoes instead of white potatoes: They offer a richer, sweeter flavor and higher vitamin content.
  • Butternut Squash in place of carrots: Adds a creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Zucchini for cucumbers: Works great in cooked dishes, providing a similar texture without the wateriness.
  • Kale or Swiss Chard rather than spinach: These greens are heartier, have a more robust flavor, and are perfect for soups and stews.
  • Parsnips substituting turnips: They bring a sweet, almost nutty flavor to your dishes.
  • Leeks instead of onions: Offer a milder, sweeter taste, ideal for soups and sauces.
  • Cauliflower instead of broccoli: Provides a milder taste and can be used in everything from stir-fries to pizza crusts.
  • Red Lentils replacing beans: Cook quickly and add a creamy consistency and protein.
  • Portobello Mushrooms for eggplant: Give a meaty texture and deep flavor, perfect for grilling or baking.

Quick Tip– Be aware that adding a splash of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, at the end of cooking can dramatically brighten up the flavors of your dish.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread Perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up its vibrant flavors.
  • Green Salad A fresh, light salad with a lemon vinaigrette balances the hearty soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables Seasonal vegetables like Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes add a satisfying crunch.
  • Quinoa Salad A protein-rich quinoa salad with a citrus dressing makes a nutritious side.
  • Garlic Bread Vegan garlic bread offers a deliciously crispy texture and aromatic flavor.
  • Sautéed Greens Kale or spinach sautéed with garlic pairs well with borscht’s earthy tones.
  • Potato Pancakes Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside are a comforting addition.
  • Cucumber Salad A cool, dill-infused cucumber salad offers a refreshing contrast.
  • Wild Rice Nutty wild rice complements the soup’s depth without overshadowing it.
  • Pickled Vegetables Adding a tangy crunch, pickles contrast beautifully with the smooth borscht.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Warm and Comforting: Serve the borscht warm to highlight its comforting qualities, especially during colder months.
  • Garnish Wisely: Top with dollops of vegan sour cream or yogurt, and sprinkle with fresh dill, parsley, or chives for added flavor and color.
  • Add a Squeeze of Lemon: Offering lemon wedges on the side allows guests to add a bright, acidic note to their soup.
  • Offer Crusty Bread: Serve with slices of crusty bread or a hearty rye loaf for dipping and scooping.
  • Include a Side Salad: For a balanced meal, pair with a simple green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette.
  • Consider the Bowl: Serve in deep, individual bowls to keep the soup hot and make eating easier.
  • Add Fresh Ground Pepper: Keep a pepper grinder handy so guests can add a fresh, spicy kick to their bowl.
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil before serving can add a luxurious mouthfeel.
  • Provide Pickled Vegetables: Offer a side of pickled vegetables for a tangy contrast to the soup’s earthy sweetness.
  • Interactive Toppings: Set out a toppings bar so guests can customize their borscht to their liking, enhancing the dining experience.

Quick Tip-To enhance the depth of flavor in vegan dishes, consider roasting vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and garlic before adding them to soups or sauces.

How To Serve?

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Cool Quickly: After cooking, allow your borscht to cool to room temperature quickly to maintain its freshness. Divide into smaller containers if necessary.
  • Refrigerate: Store the borscht in airtight containers. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze for Later: Vegan borscht freezes beautifully. Pour into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Make-Ahead: Preparing borscht a day in advance can enhance its flavors as the ingredients meld together overnight, making it an excellent make-ahead meal.
  • Reheat Gently: When ready to serve, reheat the borscht slowly on the stove over low heat to preserve its vibrant color and nutrients. Avoid boiling to maintain the best texture and flavor.

Fact-Did you know borscht’s vibrant red color comes from betacyanin in beets, a powerful antioxidant linked to improved heart health and reduced inflammation?

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Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables in Advance: Chop all your vegetables the night before and store them in the fridge. This cuts down on prep time significantly.
  2. Use a Food Processor: Instead of hand grating, quickly grate beets, carrots, and any other vegetables using a food processor.
  3. Cook in Batches: Make a large batch of borscht and freeze it in portions. It reheats well and can save time on busy days.
  4. Boil Beets Separately: If you prefer a more intense color, boil them separately before adding them to the soup. This step can be done ahead of time.
  5. Use Pre-Cooked Ingredients: Consider using canned beans or pre-cooked lentils to add protein without extending cooking time.
  6. Simplify with Store-Bought Broth: Save time by using a high-quality store-bought vegetable broth instead of making your own.
  7. One-Pot Cooking: Minimize cleanup by using just one pot to sauté and then simmer all the ingredients together.
Vegan Borscht Recipe - A Perfect European Dish 

Vegan Borscht Recipe – A Perfect European Dish 

Recipe by Julia

Short Description 
Vegan borscht is a heartwarming and nutritious soup that perfectly blends the earthy sweetness of beets with a medley of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.

Infused with dill and garlic and finished with a tang of lemon juice, it offers a comforting, vibrant dish that’s both delicious and healthful, ideal for any meal.

Course: Soups
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4 – 6

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  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Olive Oil

  • 3 Medium 3 Beets, Peeled And Diced (½ inch)

  • 2 Medium 2 Carrots, Peeled And Diced (½ inch)

  • 1 Medium 1 Onion, chopped

  • 2 2 Garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 cups 4 Vegetable Broth

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Tomato Paste

  • 2 cups 2 Finely chopped cabbage

  • 1 Medium 1 Russet potato, peeled and diced (½ inch)

  • 1 ½ tablespoons 1 ½ Lemon Juice

  • ¼ cup ¼ Chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving

  • Salt and pepper(As per taste)

  • Vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream(For serving)

  • Chopped fresh chives and/or parsley(For serving)


  • Preparation
  • Begin by preparing your vegetables. Peel and dice the beets and carrots into ½ inch pieces. Chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Peel and dice the potato into ½ inch pieces as well. Finely chop the cabbage, and measure out your other ingredients so they are ready to use.
  • Sautéing Vegetables
  • Place a large pot on the stove and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add the diced beets, carrots, and chopped onion to the pot.
  • Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. This should take about 10 minutes. The heat from sautéing will start releasing the vegetables’ natural sugars, enhancing the borscht’s overall flavor.
  • Adding Garlic
  • Add the minced garlic to the pot and continue to sauté for another minute until fragrant. Garlic burns easily, so keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Incorporating Broth and Other Vegetables
  • Stir in 4 cups of vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, the finely chopped cabbage, and the diced potato into the pot with the sautéed vegetables.
  • Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Watch it closely as it boils to prevent it from boiling over.
  • Simmering
  • Reduce the heat once the soup reaches a boil to maintain a gentle simmer. Leave the pot uncovered and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are tender, which should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • The flavors will meld together during this time, and the vegetables will become soft. If you notice the soup is thicker than you like, you can add more broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Finishing Touches
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Stir 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice and ¼ cup of chopped fresh dill into the borscht. The lemon juice adds a nice acidity that balances the sweetness of the vegetables, while the dill adds a layer of freshness.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
  • Serving
  • Ladle the hot borscht into serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream. This adds a creamy texture and slightly tanginess that complements the soup’s flavors.
  • Finish each bowl with a sprinkle of fresh dill, parsley, and chives for additional flavor and a pop of color.
  • Equipments List
  • Large pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Grater or food processor (optional)
  • Storage containers (for leftovers)


  • Adjustable Consistency: The thickness of the borscht can be easily adjusted by adding more vegetable broth or water if you prefer a thinner soup. Conversely, simmering the soup uncovered longer will reduce the liquid and thicken the borscht.
  • Flavor Enhancements: For a deeper flavor, consider roasting the beets, carrots, and onions before adding them to the pot. This caramelizes their natural sugars and adds richness to the soup.
  • Herb Variations: While dill is traditional in borscht, experiment with other herbs, such as parsley or thyme, to suit your taste preferences. Each herb can bring a unique flavor profile to the soup.
  • Lemon Juice Substitute: If you don’t have lemon juice, vinegar (such as apple cider or red wine vinegar) can add the necessary acidity to balance the flavors.
  • Serving Suggestions: Vegan borscht is traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream. Use plant-based sour cream, yogurt, or homemade cashew cream for a vegan version. A crusty bread or garlic toast also pairs beautifully with the soup.
  • Storage Tips: Vegan borscht stores well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the soup cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers to freeze. Leave some space for expansion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Borscht Without Beets?

While beets are a staple ingredient that gives borscht its characteristic color and flavor, you can create a beet-less version using tomatoes for acidity and red bell peppers for color.

However, this significantly alters the traditional taste and appearance, resulting in a different soup lacking borscht’s classic earthy sweetness.

How Can I Thicken Vegan Borscht If It’s Too Watery?

To thicken watery borscht, remove some cooked vegetables from the soup, blend them to a puree, and then stir the puree back into the pot.

Alternatively, you can simmer the soup uncovered longer to reduce the liquid. Adding a small amount of mashed potatoes or a slurry of cornstarch and water are other methods to achieve a thicker consistency.

vegan borscht recipe

Is Vegan Borscht Gluten-Free?

Vegan borscht is naturally gluten-free as it is made with non-gluten ingredients. However, it’s important to check the labels of products like vegetable broth and tomato paste, as some brands may add gluten-containing ingredients. Always verify the labels if you need to ensure the dish is gluten-free.

Can I Use Canned Beets Instead Of Fresh Beets?

You can use canned beets as a time-saving alternative to fresh beets. Remember that canned beets are already cooked and may add extra moisture to the soup, so you might need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe. Also, the flavor of canned beets can be slightly different from fresh ones, potentially altering the soup’s taste.

How Long Does Vegan Borscht Last In The Fridge?

Vegan borscht typically lasts up to five days when stored properly in the refrigerator. Cool the soup to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.

For the best quality, reheat only the portion you plan to consume and keep the rest stored cold to extend its freshness as long as possible.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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