We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Beet Soup?

By Cynde Gregory
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Beet soup, whether hot or cold, has been served for centuries in central and eastern European regions. While many beet soup recipes call for other vegetables, such as cabbage, carrot, tomato, or even apple, many people prefer the uncompromised purity of a soup made primarily from fresh beets and topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Beetroot soup, or borscht, a much-loved culinary tradition among Slavs, Poles, and Ashkenazi Jews, has become popularized in many other parts of the world.

The simplest beetroot soup is made by simmering chopped beets together with onion and garlic until the beets have softened. The vegetables are pureed and poured into a robust dish. A thinner, more consommé–like presentation can be achieved by letting the vegetables cook until they have fallen apart, after which the pieces are strained out. These soups offer their flavors equally well when served hot or cold.

Among the many variations of beet soup are those that contain other root vegetables. Some regional differences include soups that mellow the rich, ruby-red color of pure beet with white cabbage. Another common partner is potato. Turnips, rutabaga, or other starchy root vegetables add their own unique flavors and textural variations.

While most beet soups contain only vegetables, some cooks include meat. Cubed beef or pork can be added to the beet soup, making a stew-like, rustic main dish. In some regions, chicken is used. In Poland and nearby areas, bacon is frequently added as a garnish or cooked into the body of the soup. Another source of protein is found in chopped egg, which is sprinkled into the soup bowl by each diner.

In keeping with tradition, some cooks insist that a true beet soup must be edged with a sharp, tart high note. The easiest way to achieve this sour taste is by dressing the soup with lemon or vinegar. Purists, however, let the soup sit for up to a week gain a naturally sour layer.

Whether pureed or served as a stew, beet soup is at its best when accompanied by hearty bread. Russian black bread, heavy rye, or wheat bread containing sprouted grains and seeds are perfect for mopping up every last drop. Sourdough bread echoes and deepens the flavor of a soured beet soup. Alternatively, some regional variations prepare and serve the soup with dumplings or small boiled potatoes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.