Eva’s Heritage Borscht Soup Recipe

Eastern European comfort food from Karen Anderson. "My husband's grandmother Eva immigrated to Canada from Eastern Europe. I inherited this borscht recipe from her — it's what my in-laws call great peasant food. The pork ribs give it substance and the deep maroon colour makes finding the green beans a nice surprise. Add sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill to top it off."


1 lb. pork side ribs
2-3 beets, trimmed
2 cups peeled and diced carrots
1 onion, diced
1 cup chopped fresh green beans
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup tomato juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or fresh dill


Step 1: Put the ribs in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim off any grey scum that floats up.

Step 2: Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour.

Step 3: While the ribs are cooking, put the beets in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.

Step 4: Drain the beets. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and chop the beets, then set aside.

Step 5: Remove the ribs from the pot, reserving the cooking water in the pot. Using a fork or knife, pull or cut the meat from the bones and chop into bite-size chunks. Return the pork to the pot.

Step 6: Add the carrots, onion, green beans, cabbage, tomato juice and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 7: Simmer, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes.

Step 8: Add the boiled beets and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 9: Ladle the soup into bowls, and swirl in a few spoonfuls of sour cream.

See more recipes from Sharon Hapton and Pierre A. Lamielle.

Reprinted with permission from Sharon Hapton and Pierre A. Lamielle's The Soup Sisters Cookbook (2012 Appetite by Random House).



Julie Van Rosendaal