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Spicy Borscht Soup

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 60 min
  • Servings 6
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A classic Eastern European soup with a seriously spicy kick.
by: Macheesmo
Updated Mar 8, 2017
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  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium parsnips, diced
  • 3 large beets, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 dried habanero pepper (for extra spice, optional)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Greek yogurt, garnish
  • Fresh dill, garnish


  • 1
    Peel and dice the onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, and beets so they are all roughly in a 1/4 inch dice.
  • 2
    In a large sturdy pot, add oil over medium heat and then add all the veggies that you diced. Let them cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften.
  • 3
    Make a well in the center of the pot and add a small drizzle of extra oil if the pan is really dry. Add all your spices and cook for 30 seconds. If you want the soup VERY spicy, add the dried habanero. Otherwise, leave it out. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer the soup for 8-10 minutes until veggies are tender.
  • 4
    Add in sliced cabbage to the soup and continue to simmer until it softens.
  • 5
    Add apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is very thick, feel free to add another cup of water.
  • 6
    Remove dried chili if you used it and serve soup immediately garnished with a big dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh dill!

Nutrition Information

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More About This Recipe

  • This warm winter soup has a surprising kick. A perfect pick me up on cold evenings. Good news: This spicy borscht soup will not only warm your soul, but if you go full force with the spices, you’ll be running at deadly speeds for your closest glass of milk. This soup, at its base, is peasant food. It costs almost nothing to make and will feed a crowd. It can include proteins like beef, but I like to keep it veggie-packed. Plus it's insanely easy to make. This is, no joke, the hardest part of this recipe is chopping the vegetables. This will probably take around 20 minutes if you are a slow chopper, but after this the soup cooks itself! Now let’s talk spices. Since this is a spicy soup, I went big on the spices. I used dried arbol chiles but those might be kind of hard to find, so I wrote red pepper flakes into the recipe – which will add some nice base heat. Now, if you want to get a little crazy, find yourself a dried habanero pepper and toss that into the mix. Totally optional, but it’ll elevate the spicy levels substantially. Serve the soup with some thick Yoplait Greek yogurt and top it with a few sprigs of fresh dill. This will keep you warm all winter.
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