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+ servings
bowl of vegan borscht beet soup with vushka dumplings

Meatless Borscht Soup (Pisnyi Borshch) пісний борщ

4.50 from 4 votes
Course: Soup, Main Course
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian, Eastern European
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 bowls
Calories: 151kcal
Author: Kelly
Cost: $0.49
Pisnyi borscht is a traditional vegan beet soup served on Christmas Eve in Ukraine, and it’s also enjoyed all year round. Recipe for Instant Pot or stovetop.
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  • Instant Pot (or stockpot, if using Stovetop option)


  • ¼ cup sunflower oil (see Note 1)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • head green cabbage, chopped (*can sub 1/2 cup sauerkraut for a more sour soup)
  • 3 red beets, shredded or grated
  • 1 handful beet leaves, roughly chopped (*optional)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes or 1/4 of a 28oz can, diced
  • 1 tsp fine salt or 1/2 tbsp kosher salt 6 g
  • 1 tsp ground paprika (*optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns or 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 allspice berries or 1/8 tsp ground allspice (*optional)
  • 1 qt vegetable stock or water (+ more for a thinner soup)
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped


  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté function on Normal mode. (Stovetop: put a stockpot or Dutch oven on medium heat.) When the display reads "Hot," pour oil into the pot followed by garlic, onion, celery, and cabbage.
  • Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the beets and beet leaves.
  • Sauté another 5 minutes, then add tomatoes, paprika, salt, and vegetable stock, and turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Put the bay leaves, black peppercorns, and allspice berries into a soup bag or tea ball, then drop it into the pot. (If you don't have an infuser thingy, I suggest using ground spices instead and remember to fish out the bay leaves when the soup is done cooking.)
  • Lock the lid onto the Instant Pot. Press the Soup function and adjust the time to 10 minutes. (Stovetop: cover and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.)
  • When the Instant Pot finishes cooking, allow pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure. (Stovetop: turn off the stove and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.)
  • Remove the lid and give everything a stir. Scoop out the soup infuser ball.
  • This soup can be eaten hot or cold. Before serving, top with dill and parsley. If you're serving borscht for Christmas Eve, drop 4–5 boiled vushka (see Note 2) into each bowl.


  1. Ukrainian borscht usually contains butter and sour cream. Due to the rules of the Nativity Fast (more on that in the "Sviaty Vechir" section above), no dairy products are allowed if you're making this soup for Christmas Eve. So people use sunflower oil instead. I feel like you could make a case for vegan butter and vegan sour cream, though.
  2. If you're making this soup for Christmas Eve, vushka (similar to mini perogies) with mushroom fillings are a must. Recipe for that coming soon 🙂


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1113mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1144IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg