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During Rach's most recent trip to Ukraine, she taught kids at a youth education center how to make a classic beef borscht. Although the country considers borscht a national dish, many of them had never prepared it. Suffice it to say, both the cooking lesson and the resulting deeply flavored beet-based soup were a big hit! 

For more from our special Ukraine episode, Rachael takes us inside a safe house and shares an emotional visit with the mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 ½ pounds tri-tip beef (bottom sirloin), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 3 large beets with leafy greens, beets peeled and diced; greens chopped and kept separate from beets
  • 2 quarts beef bone broth or stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced or cubed
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped red cabbage (half a cabbage)
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped dill, parsley and chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Warm rustic rye or sourdough bread, to serve


Serves: 4 to 6


Heat olive or canola oil in soup pot over medium-high to high heat. Brown meat 7 to 8 minutes, then remove. Reduce heat a bit, add butter and onions, carrots, celery, ground cumin and coriander, sugar, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Soften a few minutes, add garlic and stir a minute. Add beets, beef, stock, water and tomato sauce and simmer at low boil 45 minutes. Add potatoes and cook 15 minutes more. Add beet greens and cabbage and simmer 5 to 10 minutes more. Add herbs and lemon juice and serve with sour cream and warm bread.