There is no Ukrainian cuisine without borshch. It varies in taste and colour but it’s as popular as ever in Ukraine. Here’s our recipe for a delicate drinking borshch in a cup, a real eye catcher for the dinner table.

You will need a knife, chopping board, 2 saucepans, frying pan, vegetable slicer, spoon, vegetable cutter, strainer, wire whisk, and wooden spatula.


Cooking time: 60–90 min.
Serves 4 people.



For the vegetable base:
• 130 g beetroot (1 beetroot), 
• 45 g carrot (half a carrot)
• 13 g parsley root 
• 65 g onion (1 onion) 
• 25 g celery stalks
• 20 g tomato paste 
• 100–200 g water 
• 20 g sunflower oil 
• 8 g 9 % vinegar 
• 5 g sugar 
• 0.3 g allspice 
• 0.3 g whole black pepper
• 0.1 g bay leaves 
• 100 g water

For the flour-based roux: 
• 15 g wheat flour 
• 15 g butter
• 5 g sunflower oil

For the delicate borshch: 
• 920 g water
• 18 g salt 
• 0.2 g ground black pepper 
• 150 g 30 % fat smetana


Cooking method

Wash and peel the vegetables. Grate the beetroot and carrot. Dice the parsley root, cut the onion into slices, and slice the celery stalks into semi-circles. Place all the vegetable ingredients in a saucepan or deep frying pan; add water, tomato paste, oil, seasoning and spices. Stew with the lid closed over a medium heat until fully cooked. 

Next, prepare the flour-based roux. Mix the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and use this mixture to roast the flour until golden in colour. 

Slowly add the roux to 80 grams of hot water, whisking the mixture with a wire whisk until the lumps dissolve. Bring the remaining water to the boil, slowly add the roux and keep whisking. The roux should fully dissolve without lumps. Add the smetana and bring to the boil for 5 minutes over a medium heat until the flour thickens into a smooth mixture. Add the stewed vegetables to the hot smetana mixture. Bring to the boil but do not allow it to boil! Let the mixture rest for half an hour. Strain, season with salt and pepper. Boil at medium heat for one minute, stirring continuously. If the borshch is kept constantly boiling it will lose its colour. Allow to cool. 

Optionally add crushed garlic and finely minced fresh herbs.


This delicate borshch is traditionally served in drinking cups together with filled or plain pancakes, pies, savoury pastry or Yavorivsky pie. 



Photo by Oksana Sybydlo




Український інститут

The recipe is part of “Ukraine. Food and Culture”, a coffee table edition developed to promote Ukrainian food culture overseas and published by їzhakultura/їzhak publishing with support from the Ukrainian Institute.