Unusual regional borscht recipes from Mykolayiv, Lviv and Crimea

·4 min read

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NV has collected three unusual borscht recipes from Mykolayiv, Lviv and the Crimea that are worth cooking.

Depending on the region, many classic dishes differ in some ingredients. For example, borscht is often cooked in mushroom broth in the west of Ukraine, quince and corn are added to it in the Crimea, and fish often becomes the star of borscht in the south.

Borscht with mushrooms (Lviv)


  • five beets

  • one large carrot

  • two parsley roots

  • small celery root

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • bay leaf

  • sugar to taste

  • two onions, chopped

  • 200 ml of white mushroom broth

  • one garlic head, chopped

  • one liter of liquid soup starter, preferably rye (zakvaska)

<span class="copyright">Rawlik / depositphotos.com</span>
Rawlik / depositphotos.com


1.  Cut beets, carrots, celery root, and parsley into thin straws, then add to a five-liter saucepan with enough water to cover, and set to boil.

2. Reduce heat to low when boiling, and simmer for 40 minutes.

3. Chop onions, then fry over medium heat until the onions begin to turn gold. Add chopped garlic at the end and fry for another two or three minutes.

4. Check the beets for readiness - they should be soft and easily pierced by a fork or knife. Add fried onion and garlic mixture to the saucepan, then add a bay leaf, salt and pepper, and the mushroom broth. Bring the dish to a boil over medium low heat for another two or three minutes. It is important not to let the borscht boil, otherwise it will lose its beautiful color.

5. Once the dish has begun boiling, reduce heat and add in the liquid soup starter to taste. Add sugar to taste.

6. Let the borscht boil once more and immediately remove from heat.

Borscht with fish (Mykolayiv)


  • two liters of water

  • 250 g of white cabbage, thinly sliced

  • three potatoes, diced

  • one package (200 g) of beans

  • two onions (one onion for broth, roughly chopped into large pieces, finely chopped for the mirepoix)

  • one medium beet, finely chopped

  • one tbsp. tomato paste

  • two carrots (one carrot for broth, roughly chopped into large pieces, finely chopped for mirepoix)

  • two cans of sardines in tomato sauce (one pack of 240 g)

  • one tbsp. oil

  • 25 ml of vinegar

  • 0.5 tsp. sugar

  • two bay leaves

  • greens to taste

  • pepper, salt to taste

<span class="copyright">haarmony / depositphotos.com</span>
haarmony / depositphotos.com


1. Wash dry beans and cover with cold water. Leave them for three to four hours, or overnight, to swell. Drain before use.

2. Pour cold water into a saucepan and add the roughly chopped carrot and onion, pepper and bay leaf. Boil for 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove the vegetables and bay leaf from the broth, and add the beans. Bring it to a boil and then cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes.It is important not to overcook the beans to ensure they retain their distinctive shape.

4. Add diced potatoes, and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Add the cabbage and cook for six to eight minutes.

5. To prepare the Ukrainian zazharka, similar to a mirepoix, set a frying pan over low heat. Add vegetable oil, and heat until smoking. Then fry onion until golden. Add beet and sprinkle with vinegar in order to preserve color. Then add carrots and fry until golden brown. Add tomato paste and pepper to taste.

6. Add the canned fish into the broth. Try not to stir the borscht too much, so as not to damage the fish: its pieces should be visible in the finished borscht.

7. Add the mirepoix, bring to a boil, and then cook over low heat. Add greens (traditionally, parsley and dill) to the dish and allow to infuse for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Borscht with quince and corn (Crimea)


  • lamb on the bone (preferably 0.5-1 kg of bone-in lamb shoulder, but could be any bone-in cut)

  • two onions

  • one fresh tomato or five-six sun-dried

  • one whole red bell pepper

  • one whole corn on the cob

  • one whole quince

  • one beet

  • 500 g of white cabbage, chopped

  • five potatoes, chopped

  • four quail eggs

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • vinegar, to taste

<span class="copyright">VadimVasenin / depositphotos.com</span>
VadimVasenin / depositphotos.com


1. Add the lamb, bell pepper, corn, and quince to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a low heat and boil until cooked.

2. Chop carrots, onions, and beets. Season with salt and vinegar, then brown over high heat in a heated frying pan.

3. Add browned vegetables, as well as potatoes and chopped cabbage, to the lamb broth.

4. Cook until potatoes are soft, 30-40 minutes, over low heat. Remove the bone from the lamb , if needed.

5. When serving, arrange pieces of lamb on top.

Bon appetit!