Russian Borsch

This is going to be another one of those “my mother told me so” stories that I often find super annoying but have been learning to appreciate more and more as I age.


When I was a kid, growing up in Russia, my mother would always try to feed me soup.  In fact, she believed so much in the health benefits of all the wonderful soups that she made that it often felt forced.  Being a total brat and a very opinionated one at that, I refused to eat them.  This carried over to my teenage years when I stopped eating any kind of soup altogether, especially the Russian ones.  On my list of top-hated soups is Borsch.

Beat-red (ha….I amuse myself) and packed with vegetables, this soup was a favorite in my family and therefore my nemesis.  I refused to eat it and never bothered to learn how to make it.  Until a few years ago, that is.

My husband and I were at my parents’ house and my mom made Borsch.  As she served it to the family (and hot dogs for me – yes, I act like I’m 5 sometimes), I made gagging faces at her and her beautiful red soup.  I teased Jon for “putting up” with it until he turned to me and said, “this is probably the best soup ever.”  Well, that shut me right up.  I sat there, eating my hot dog, and thinking about my totally mature responses to my mom’s hard work.

It was another couple of years until I actually tried Borsch.  Another family dinner with my parents who now prepared Borsch every time we came to visit in order to please their son-in-law, who happily ate it up and even brought leftovers home.  One afternoon I gave in and tried the Borsch again and, gasp, liked it (don’t worry, I didn’t admit to it to my mom.  I’m really mature like that.)

Fast forward to this year and I am on the prowl to find foods that are healthy, delicious and suited for a little toddler.  Based on the title of this post, I think you can guess what I made.

That’s right, Borsch.


And even more specifically, my mom’s Borsch.

Like many Russian foods, it’s made with few, “cheap” ingredients and takes forever and a half to prepare and cook.  But believe me, it is all worth it in the end.

(The recipe I posted is for one batch of the soup…I doubled the recipe in order to freeze some, so the pictures might be a little deceiving)

making borsch


Patting myself on the back for successfully making a bright red Borsch (yes, there is a skill to keeping a color vibrant), I served my husband and my toddler the meal that I so desperately despised as a child.  And they liked it.  In fact, I received the best compliment that I could have when my husband said, “wow, this tastes just like your mom’s!”

As I embark on this wonderful journey that is parenting, I often find myself looking back at my childhood and realizing just how many of the things that my parents did for us went unappreciated and how many more are the “I told you so” moments.  And then I wonder just how many of my actions will be unappreciated by my little opinionated Peanut and how much I may enjoy saying “I told you so” to her when she’s in her 20′s and raising a little girl or boy of her own.  I just hope I’m mature enough to bite my tongue when she admits to me that I was right (oh, who am I kidding, I hope I’m patient enough to hold it until she’s out of sight).

Go to for the recipe.

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