recipeFrancesca Rangoni

Beetroot Borscht

recipeFrancesca Rangoni
Beetroot Borscht

Beautiful rich, red soup with a slightly sweet and hearty flavour tempered by the cold yoghurt on top (and it just looks like its doing you good!) 

I get a vegetable box once a week from Riverford which always comes with a great recipe suggestion for one of the vegetables of the week. I love the fact that I am handed a load of vegetables that I may not have chosen if I’d been in a supermarket and then I have to deal with them, be inventive, look things up or follow one of their usually delicious suggested recipes (they have lots of recipes on their website).

I grew up in an Italian household, so my mother never cooked these northern style vegetables . But I love these earthy root vegetables and it has been important to me to discover and learn about what is in season locally.


·       1 onion
·       1 stalk of celery
·       2 beetroots
·       1 potato
·       1/4 cabbage
·       1/2 teaspoon allspice (or cinnamon, nutmeg and a clove)
·       1 bay leaf
·     1tsp brown sugar
·       800ml chicken stock
·     1 tablespoon cider vinegar
·       dollop of yoghurt per bowl
·     horseradish sauce (optional)
·       dill (optional)


Prepare the vegetables
Chop the onion, celery, beetroot, cabbage and potatoes into small pieces.

Start with onions and celery
Heat a little oil in a deep pan and cook the onion and celery for a few minutes until they are soft.

Make the broth
Real broth made with a chicken (see my recipe) is incredible and adds a good depth to this dish but you can just as successfully make broth by adding a stock cube to boiling water.

Add the other vegetables
Add the beetroot, cabbage and potato to the pan with the onions and stir for a few minutes to allow the vegetables to mix. Mix in the allspice, bay leaf and the sugar.

Add the liquid
Pour in the warm stock and the vinegar. Simmer for about 25 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. When the vegetables are tender, I give it a blast with the hand blender to further amalgamate the flavours.

Final touch
Serve in a bowl with a spoonful of yoghurt on top and a dash of horseradish sauce and a sprinkle of dill if you have it.