Borscht with Rye Grains

    3 hours

    This is a delicious take on the classic Eastern European soup. Whole rye grains are simmered with beans and vegetables in a tomato soup base. A truly wonderful vegetarian soup. Enjoy with a dollop of soured cream.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 170g dry whole rye grains
    • 475ml water
    • 300g dry cannellini beans
    • 1 small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 sticks celery, chopped
    • 4 beetroots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
    • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 950g tinned tomatoes
    • 2 litres water
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr30min  ›  Ready in:3hr 

    1. Place the rye berries and 475ml water in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours or until tender.
    2. Meanwhile, place cannellini beans in another pot with enough water to cover, bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour, until tender; drain.
    3. In a large pot, mix the cooked rye, beans, cabbage, onion, celery, beetroots, carrot, potato, garlic and tomatoes. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice and honey and season with salt and pepper during the cook time.


    Whole rye grain are also known as rye berries. You can purchase them in speciality shops or online.

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    Reviews in English (8)


    Comfort food! I subbed pinto beans for the others, so I cooked those with the rye berries. It wasn't until I was enjoying my serving that I realized I had forgotten to add the cabbage! I'll put it in when I reheat this delightful soup! Thanks for the recipe!  -  02 Mar 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I followed your directions, except added canned white northern beans with the vegetables, instead of the cannellini beans. (The dry beans probably would have been better if I had them.) We never had borscht before. It was pretty good, but I expect it is an acquired taste. We'll have plenty of opportunity to find out, as it made enough to last us for a couple of weeks. There are just 2 of us. Anyway, thanks for the recipe. It was fun trying something different. Mar. 14 update: I put some of this in freezer containers and saved. My husband and I happily did acquire a taste for it, and now we love it. Just had some for lunch today, and my hubby asked, is that all? There wasn't enough left for seconds. Have to increase the rating to 5 stars. Congratulations for a distinctly unique and very delicious recipe! Now I have another good use for all my rye berries.  -  16 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    It was a lot of work compared to how we usually cook, but turned out good! Great way to use rye berries, which is why I tried it. We didn't use exact amounts--some extra here and there, like with the tomatoes--and it made a huge pot! We are going to have a lot to freeze for later. Thanks for the recipe!  -  09 Jun 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)