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Borsch RECIPE to join the #cookforukraine movement

The next in our series of recipes to #cookforukraine, here we offer up Alissa Timoshkina’s modern take on Borsch which she warns is pretty iconoclastic!


To find out more about the Cook for Ukraine initiative, visit


Serves 4


1 large onion

1 carrot

6 medium beetroots (raw)

2 red bell peppers

2 tbsp of tomato paste

2 litre of cold water

2 bay leafs

1 tbsp of black pepper corns

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 tbsp of fennel seeds

4 cloves of garlic

a bunch of dill

a small bunch of parsley

1 tbsp of salt

1 jar of fermented cabbage (preferably red)

1 tin of red kidney beans

2 tsp of smoked paprika

1 medium red onion

1 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tbsp of sour cream

4 tbsp of chopped dill and parsley

unrefined sunflower oil for frying and roasting

Additional salt to taste



  1. Finely dice the onion, peel and grate the carrot. 
  2. Heat up a tbsp of sunflower oil in a large pot and fry the onion and carrot for about 8 minutes until golden. 
  3. Meanwhile, peel and grate two beetroots, thinly slice one red pepper, removing the seeds, and add the vegetables to the pot together with the tomato paste and a splash of water. 
  4. Season with salt to taste and fry for another 5-8 minutes. 
  5. Top with 2 litres of cold water, add the bayleaves as well as all the seeds, peeled whole garlic cloves, and half of the fresh dill and parsley. 
  6. Season with a tbsp of salt and bring to boil. 
  7. Lower the heat, add half of the fermented red cabbage with its brine and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes to an hour.
  8. Switch off the heat and let the borsch rest for another hour, while you prepare the rest of the elements. If you can make the broth 24 hours in advance you will be rewarded with an even better tasting soup, but a few hours of resting will also do the trick.
  9. So far, so good, but here is where the recipe starts to deviate from the norm quite a lot. To prepare the vegetables that will grace the plate and also add extra flavour and texture to the soup, you will need to do a bit of roasting. Start by preheating the oven to 160C.
  10. Peel the remaining 4 beetroots, cut into wedges and dress with oil, salt and a dash of pomegranate molasses. 
  11. Peel the red onion, cut into wedges and season with salt and brown sugar to bring out their sweetness and promote caramelisation. 
  12. Roast in the oven together with the beetroot for 30 minutes. 
  13. Next, drain the kidney beans, dress them with salt, oil and smoked paprika. 
  14. Deseed the red pepper and cut into thin strips, dressing with salt and oil. 
  15. Roast the two together as they will only need 10-15 minutes.
  16. When ready to serve, strain the broth through a sieve or a muslin cloth, discarding the boiled vegetables. All we need is that rich broth! 
  17. Reheat again if necessary. 
  18. Next, we will create layers of texture and flavours in each bowl by adding a heaped tbsp of raw kraut to each, as well as a handful of roasted beets, onions, kidney beans and peppers. 
  19. Top each bowl with hot broth and add a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkle of fresh dill and parsley. 


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Published: 16 March 2022

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