Borsch is sweet, tangy soup, traditionally associated with Slavic countries. With travel and migration it is now a popular dish around the world with a zillion different variations on how to make it. It is however, generally agreed that borsch contains beetroot, root vegetables, and seasonings.

Today I am sharing my vegan borsch recipe. Making it vegan means that I won’t be using meat or meat stock as is often used in original versions. It’s surprising how delicious soup can be without the use of stock. I am going to allow the natural flavours of the vegetables to dance for this borsch.

Vegan borsch recipe with beets and dill

Borsch often involves sauteed or baked vegetables to bring out their flavour

I cube and roast my beetroot and potato for about half an hour. At the same time, I sautee the leek and then cook the rest of the vegan borsch soup the stove.

How to make roast beet in the oven

Blancing the flavours of vegan borsch with lemon juice

It’s common for borsch recipes to balance the sweetness of the beetroot with something sour or acidic. It’s optional, I find that it does seem to help harmonise.

In this recipe I am using the juice of half a  fresh lemon added right at the end of the cooking period. This balances the flavours nicely.

Using dill in borsch (and alternatives)

I like to use fresh dill in my borsch recipe. It brings in a sweet, aniseed flavour. You can get it in the herb section of most good supermarkets.

Alternatives to dill? If you don’t have access to dill you can use the feathery fronds from fennel. Alternatively, I might add some caraway seeds when I am suateeing the leek.

You could always leave the dill out and go for more earthy flavours from parsley, coriander leaves (cilantro).

Vegan borsch recipe with beets and dill

Vegan Borsch recipe without stock

Yield: 4 bowls
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A delicious version of vegan borsch. Made with beets, potato, carrot, leek and celery. Salt, black pepper, lemon juice and dill to make the flavours dance.


  • 500g beetroot (about 3 tennis ball sized)
  • 300g potato (one medium to large size)
  • 400ml (1⅔ cups) water
  • 250ml (1 cup) passata (called strained or sieved tomato in the USA)
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Big twist of black pepper
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 20g fresh dill (large handful)
  • Extra sea salt and pepper for baking
  • Dash of olive oil for baking and sautéing


Roast the beetroot and potato first

  1. Dice your beetroot and potato into cubes (around 1 to 1.5cm or ½ an inch cubed).
  2. Toss them into a large baking tray. 
  3. Sprinkle generous amounts of salt and pepper over the beetroot and potato cubes along with a drizzle of olive oil (a couple of teaspoons of oil should be fine). Mix together until the beetroot and potato are evenly coated.
  4. Roast in a preheated oven at around 200C to 220C (400F to 425F) for about 30 minutes. No need to turn your veg during this roasting period. They are ready when you can easily pierce them with a fork. 

Meanwhile, cook the soup base

  1. While the beetroot and potato are roasting, chop your leek into small pieces. 
  2. Sauté the leek in a pan for a few minutes in some olive oil. Use the same pan that you are going to use to make the whole soup in, to save on creating extra washing up. 
  3. Chop the celery and carrot into small pieces. 
  4. Smash, peel and chop up your garlic.
  5. After the leek has sauteed for a few minutes, toss in the celery, garlic and carrot, along with the water, passata, sea salt and black pepper. 
  6. Put the lid on your pan. Bring the contents to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer for up to 20 minutes (basically, enough time to soften the carrots).

Bringing your vegan borsch together

  1. When the beetroot and potato are cooked, put them in the pan along with what you've just cooked. Allow everything to cook together for a few minutes. 
  2. If you have a hand blender (called an immersion blender in the USA) then pulsate it several times through your borsch. This will meld the ingredients together nicely whilst leaving lots of chunkiness. Blending is optional, but it does work well if you can do this. 
  3. Your vegan borsch is now cooked and is now almost ready to serve.
  4. Chop your dill into tiny pieces and mix into your borsch once it has cooked. Save a tiny amount of dill to garnish once served in your soup bowls. 
  5. Finally, juice half a lemon and mix in.
  6. This vegan borsch keeps for up to a week in the fridge. It will turn thicker and more stew like as the days go by. Simply enjoy it as a stew or add more water to thin back down again.


Passata is usually called sieved or strained tomatoes in the USA. In some cases, it is called tomato puree (which is different to tomato puree in the UK). It can get confusing, so please visit my article here for the difference...

What is passata? Different names (UK & USA)

Alternatives to passata?

You can swap passata for tinned tomatoes. Or bake a couple of large ones and use those instead. It'll be just a nice whatever you do.

Vegetable swaps?

The beetroot, potato and carrot are all swapable with each other in this recipe. This means if you have less of any of them, simply make up for it with the ones you have more of. You can also swap out for any root vegetable.

Did you make this recipe?

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Other delicious vegan beet recipes?

I am huge fan of beetroot, so here is a list of some of my favourite recipes using this delicious and nutritious earthy root vegetable…

Beet recipes, gluten-free, vegan, healthy by Anastasia, Kind Earth

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