The first time I had borscht, I think I was at a Ukrainian Folklorama Pavillion in the early 2000's with my parents. I fell in love with it, and from then on I ordered whenever I saw it on the menu at a restaurant. Little did I know, it's so freakin easy to make. I've been making it for years now, always winging the recipe but I finally decided to write it down and share it.
Traditional borscht usually had shredded beets, but I prefer to have them cubed. I personally just like the heartier texture. If you'd prefer a shredded beet, you can do that too! The best part about this recipe is the addition of red wine vinegar at the end. It gives the soup a nice tang thats balanced out perfectly by a dollop of coconut cream (traditionally sour cream). If it's your first time trying it with coconut cream, I'd recommend adding just a small amount to your serving bowl before adding it to the pot!
I also made this version vegetarian (some are made with stewing beef, also delicous). My sister and her partner are vegetarian, and I always love creating recipes she can follow easily. She's also been asking for this recipe for like a year.
I hope you make this borscht and love it as much as I do! On the bottom I left notes for if you want an ultra quick version using the Instant Pot! I'd also like to mention that it freezes really well if you want to double the batch and freeze half!
Instant Pot Suggestions
Press the “Saute” function, add the oil and diced onion to the pot. Once softened, add the rest of the ingredients (except the red wine vinegar, dill, and coconut cream) making sure to stir in the tomato paste well. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is switched to the “sealing” position. Press “manual” and adjust the time to 15 minutes. When the time is up, wait another 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually.
Remove the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the vinegar, dill, and coconut cream to serve.