Mennonite Borscht

Mennonite Borscht (A Seat at the Table)

This is an old family recipe from my Grandma.  Imagine my confusion when I finally heard that borscht has beets in it!  Beets?!  Doesn’t that make it sweet??  Definitely no beets in Grandma’s borscht.  So after a little research I discovered that Mennonites make a type of borscht that’s beef and cabbage based.  Glad I figured that connection out!

This recipe is great, simple, cost effective and delicious.  I made enough to feed about 50 using 3 lbs hamburger, about 2 lbs carrots, 3 large parsnips, 8 small white skin potatoes, 1 head of cabbage, about 4-5 cans diced tomatoes, and 1 6oz can of tomato paste.  Below is a single recipe, but feel free to adjust quantities as you prefer.

Serve it with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of dill.

Mennonite Borscht

Serves 6

  • 1 lb lean hamburger
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup potato, chopped
  • 1 cup parsnip, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground savory
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 can tomato soup or V8)

In a large skillet, brown hamburger.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Transfer cooked hamburger to a soup pot and add water.

Return the skillet to the stove and sauté carrots, potatoes, parsnips and celery until tender.  Add cooked vegetables to the soup pot and then add remaining ingredients.  Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of dill.

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