I first tried borscht at a Ukrainian restaurant in Seoul, Korea when a friend beamed proudly across the table into a beautiful bowl of deep purple soup with a dollop of sour cream and a handful of fresh chopped dill. I had no idea what was happening but I knew I needed a spoonful ASAP. One bite turned into three and a quick call to the waiter to bring another bowl.
As the founder of Plant & Vine, a vegan recipe and wine pairing blog, I’m all about finding new ways to match plant-based meals with the wines to make ‘em pop. This vegan borscht recipe does the trick – it’s easy to make, super healthy, and beautiful to serve.
What is borscht?
Borscht is a sour soup that originated in Ukraine and is now commonly prepared throughout eastern Europe and Russia. There are many different versions of borscht, including green or white borscht, but the most famous version involves beet roots and a distinctive red, purple color (Source).
Borscht is an extremely flexible soup – it can be served hot or cold, it may contain meat or be completely vegan, and it can include additional ingredients such as potatoes, cream, or hard-boiled eggs. In other words, if you feel like experimenting by adding new ingredients, you’ve got the borscht spirit.
Are beets good for you?
Beets are nutrient-dense and calorie-light vegetables. They’re also linked to improving digestive health (we see you, fiber), reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure (okay, nitrates). Beets are good for you so don’t feel bad if you want a second (or third) bowl because you’re loading your body with healthy food (Source).
Vegan Borscht and Wine Pairings
This vegan borscht has a tangy, earthy, and slightly sour flavor that demands a wine with a certain crispness and a pop of acidity. White wines of this style are often a good bet. Here are a few ideas to get you on the right track:
Pinot Grigio: this is the epitome of a crisp white wine with flavors of lime, lemon, pear, white nectarine and apple. While Pinto Grigio’s flavor isn’t as intense as a Riesling, it provides a refreshing splash of acidity with each sip.
- Suggested Regions: Alto Adige, Italy
Chardonnay: More succulent and fruity, Chardonnay is a weightier white wine with tropical fruit notes, lemon, pear, and peach flavors. You can experiment with oaked (vanilla, butter flavors) or unoaked (fruity) depending on your preference.
- Suggested Regions: For Oaked – Napa Valley or Paso Robles, California. For unoaked, try Loire Valley or Chablis, France
Rosé: a dry rosé is a great choice for borscht if you want something a little closer to a red wine. It’s clean, refreshing, and elegant, playing nicely on the beet color scheme.
- Suggested Regions: Provence, France
Interested in learning more about wine pairing? Check out the Plant & Vine wine pairing guide. If you already have a bottle of wine and need some tips on decanting, hop on over to the Plant & Vine wine decanters guide.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 683.3mgCarbohydrates: 34.5gProtein: 4.8g
Kerrie is a photographer, wine nerd, and lifelong learner. She recently passed her Wine Spirit
Education Trust Level III exam and looks forward to future wine classes. Kerrie has never been satisfied with following a recipe word-for-word and prefers the surprises that emerge when veering from suggestion, in life and in cooking. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30, Kerrie started experimenting with a plant-based diet and hasn’t looked back. Plant & Vine combines three things she loves – vegan food, wine, and the nuances that bring things and people together.