This thick borscht with duck or goose is a perfect hearty meal for cold winter days. It’s also a great choice of soup for everyone who doesn’t consume pork or beef.

You can make this borscht with bone based broth or, for a lighter version, start with water. Here’s how to make bone based broth:

Start with washing beef bones under warm running water. Place them into a deep pot, cover with water and slowly bring to a boil. Skim the foam off of the broth, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 4-5 hours. Add salt 30 minutes before the broth is done. Turn off the heat and strain the broth.

If you prefer to start with water, simply bring 10 cups of water to a boil and follow the next steps of the recipe.

Peel and cut your beetroot into strips. In a pan, combine drawn butter and 4 tablespoons of broth, mix it well and add beetroot. Sautee the beets covered for 40-60 minutes. Then add sugar and tomato puree and cook for 15 more minutes.

Cut carrots, celery root and parsley root into thin strips. Cut the onion into small cubes. On a separate skillet, fry these vegetables with butter until they develop golden color.

On a separate pan, heat butter,  add flour and cook butter and flour constantly stirring them until butter develops golden color. Then add 4 tablespoons of broth, one at a time and cook the mixture for 10 more minutes, constantly stirring. Strain the mixture.

Bring the broth to a boil again. Add fried vegetables and beetroot, shredded fresh green cabbage, smoked duck or goose and keep cooking everything for 30 minutes. Then add flour mixture, minced garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and white vinegar. Taste for salt and add more, if needed.

Take the duck or goose out of borscht and cut into bite size pieces. Turn the heat off.

When serving the borscht, place a piece or two of duck into bowls, ladle some borscht, add sour cream and sprinkle with dill or parsley.

You will need:

For broth:   

  • Water – 10 cups
  • Beef bones – 20 oz
  • Salt – 1 ½ teaspoon

For borscht:       

  • Smoked duck OR smoked goose – 16 oz
  • Beetroot – 14 oz
  • Fresh green cabbage – 14 oz
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ parsley root
  • ½ celery root
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Tomato puree – 3 tablespoons
  • All purpose flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Clarified butter – 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Sugar – 2 teaspoons
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:        

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped dill


  1. You can cut smoked duck or goose into small pieces beforehand and put it into a pot together with fried vegetables.
  2. You can use sauerkraut instead of fresh cabbage. In this case, wash sauerkraut under cold running water if it’s too sour and then squeeze it well.
  3. When you cook with sauerkraut you can place it into a pot along with fried vegetables or you can saute it separately with yellow onion.
  4. You can substitute drawn butter with regular butter or margarine.

How to make sauerkraut


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