Instant Pot Borscht (Beet Soup) puts a modern spin on an old classic.
Growing up with a Russian-Polish grandmother, borscht – a beet and beef soup – was something in my ethnic food world. We also have a Georgian restaurant down the street from us and go get bowls of their aromatic, hearty borscht often. Last year, I decided it was high time I figured out my own recipe and shared it with you. But borscht is notorious for taking a while to make.
So I decided to take this borscht into the future and adapt it for the Instant Pot (see the one I have here).
How Do You Make Borscht?
The ingredients in borscht are pretty simple: beets, beef, and some aromatics. If you know anything about cooking, you’ll know that simple ingredients can really shine when treated with loving care. Developing layers of flavor is key!
You’ll start by browning the meat. I can’t stress this part enough. Basically, by searing the beef, you’ll create yummy caramelization that adds a whole other dimension to the final dish. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step, but the final flavor many not be quite the same.
The next step in this Instant Pot Borscht is to add the broth and onions, then let this cook for 30 minutes. After that, you’ll add the beets, carrots, and potato to cook until soft, about six minutes. Finally, you’ll serve with some fresh dill. If you tolerate dairy, a dollop of organic sour cream adds a creamy touch. (I used dairy-free cream cheese.)
What is the Main Ingredient in Borscht?
Most people think of borscht as a beet soup because of its ruby red color. In my Instant Pot Borscht, I dice and grate the beets. It may sound a little odd, but I like the contrast in texture. If you’re more traditional, you can keep the beets diced.
Why Beets Are Healthy
Unfortunately, beets have earned a reputation of being “sugary” in the low carb world. That’s led to people avoiding them when in fact, they’re quite healthy. Beets are a good source of Vitamins C and B6, as well as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron. In fact, because beets are rich in iron, eating them is often considered a blood tonic.
Plus, beets are also well-known source of betaine which is supportive to the liver and digestive system. They can be prepared in so many ways. My favorites are making roasted beet hummus and fermenting them to make probiotic-rich beet kvass.
How Long Does Instant Pot Borscht Keep in the Fridge?
Your Instant Pot Borscht will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator. I haven’t tried freezing it yet. I imagine the texture of the veggies might become mushy when you reheat it. But if that’s okay with you, give it a shot.
Instant Pot Borscht (Beet Soup)
Instant Pot Borscht (Beet Soup) puts a modern spin on an old classic. Learn how to make this hearty soup in your Instant Pot in a fraction of the time.
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1.5 lb beef stew meat
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cups beef broth divided
- 2 lb beets peeled, half diced & half grated
- 2 large carrots diced
- 1 large russet potato peeled and diced
- 1 small bunch dill chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Set the Instant Pot to Sauté. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Sprinkle the meat with some salt and pepper, then add it to the Instant Pot insert. Let the meat brown for about 5 minutes. Add the diced onion and 2 cups of the beef broth. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and set it to Manual (high pressure) for 30 minutes. While the meat is cooking, prep the rest of the veggies.
When the meat is done, release the pressure manually, remove the meat and onions with a slotted spoon, and put it in a bowl to cool.
To the broth that's in the Instant Pot add: 2 more cups beef broth plus the beets, carrots, potato and dill. Replace the lid and cook for 6 minutes on Manual (high pressure). While that's cooking, shred the cooked meat with your fingers.
When the veggies are done cooking, release the pressure manually. Stir in the meat and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with some chopped dill.*
*Other serving suggestions: if you tolerate dairy, perhaps top with some sour cream. If you can't eat cow dairy (like me), you can use a dairy-free topping like Kite Hill plain, Greek-style almond milk yogurt.
For a vegetarian borscht, omit the meat and add 2 more carrots. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
If you want to get a really good sear on the meat, do that in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You'll need to add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and probably work in two batches. Then, add about 1/4 cup broth to the pan, scape up any brown bits, and dump that in the Instant Pot along with the meat.
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