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Easy Slow-Cooker Borscht {glutenfree + vegan}

beet soup
Apologies for the short post today. But I am trying to keep to my pledge (to myself and all of you–how I assume a lot about the number of readers I have with my use of “all” :)) to post more often and regularly, even on busy days. Today is one such day. In addition, I was longing to curl up in a blanket with a good book and eschew all deadlines because it is so darn cold here today–17 degrees when I left to teach my 6 am class, to be exact. It’s warmed up to 38, which, although balmy for January in Maine, is arctic in East Texas.

Lucky for me, I had borscht.

I’ve never made borscht before now, but I have been holding on to a recipe card–one of those sample recipe cards that appears in the mail on occasion to advertise a binder collection of cakes, cookies, home-style this or that, or in the case of this particular card, slow cooker soups and stews. I ‘m not altogether certain of my reasons for saving the card. Kevin happens to despise beets in all forms, so I couldn’t have kept it in hopes of making a hearty, healthy family repast. It’s more likely I had been reading about superfoods–beets are—and thought it would be a cheap, easy, and delicious (I do not share Kevin’s convictions of the humble beet) bowl-ful of goodness.

Five years later, I my instincts proved correct.

After some adjustments to the original recipe, I threw this together in the slow cooker in about 15 minutes, then cooled it, and tucked it in the far recesses of the refrigerator in anticipation of lunch today. I couldn’t wait; still freezing from my morning antics, I heated my first bowl at 10:15. I’ve been hovering over and slurping from multiple steaming cups the rest of the day long. Why have I not made this sooner? The ruby broth is earthy, slightly sweet, and utterly restorative. I swear that my lingering sniffles have abated and my thoughts seem clearer. I may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound by this evening.

I planned to freeze half the soup, but no longer. I cannot wait to eat more tomorrow.

Yield: 8

Slow-Cooker Hearty Borscht

Slow-Cooker Hearty Borscht
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes


  • Slow-Cooker Borscht with Potatoes & Dill
  • 2 pounds red beets, peeled and halved
  • 3/4 pound russet potatoes, peeled and halved (about 2 medium-large potatoes)
  • 1 large yellow onion, ends trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp canned tomato paste
  • 3 cups very finely shredded green cabbage(feel free to use pre-shredded coleslaw mix to save time--I did)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Optional garnishes:

  • plain Greek yogurt (or Tofutti Sour Supreme if vegan))
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped (skip, if vegan)
  • lemon wedges


  1. Put beets, potatoes, onions, broth and tomato paste into a slow cooker and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours.
  2. Using an immersion blender, purée until mostly (but not entirely) smooth. Add cabbage, stir well and cook on high for 45 minutes. Add dill, vinegar, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with the garnishes of your choice (yogurt, parsley, eggs, lemon wedges).

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 7th of September 2015

Thanks a bunch for the recipe. :-) There's a bunch of veggies in season at the moment, and I was lucky enough to find among other things beets on discount at the local grocery store earlier today. :-)


Saturday 14th of November 2015

Great, Kristin! I love finding produce bargains, too :)


Saturday 11th of February 2012

my grandmother served it cold with sour cream... did you serve it hot.?on crusies they always serve cold soups, love it

Andrea Boddam

Friday 2nd of September 2011

I made this for supper tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I pretty much doubled up on the dill, vinegar and lemon juice, but it was divine.

I can't believe I've been borscht deprived all my life.


Thursday 20th of January 2011

Hello from a fellow blogroller (a different roll...). I am enjoying what I see, and I'm excited to try this recipe!


Thursday 20th of January 2011

Are there any modifications for cooking this stove-top instead of in a slow-cooker?

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