Recipe: Dairy-free borsch

I’m a winter person. No matter how cold my hands and feet are, no matter how much I resemble a South Park character, I love cold weather. Sunny, dry, cold days are my favourite. I get to enjoy some vitamin D during the day and come home for a hearty bowl of hot soup at night.

Our Russian friend Andrey prepared an amazing borsch a long while ago. I asked him for instructions and tweaked his recipe a bit. It turned out delicious and if you don’t believe me, ask Alvaro.

Dairy-free borsch
Yield: Serves 6

Dairy-free borsch



  • 2 kg ossobuco
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 beetroots, in thin slices
  • 3 carrots, in thin slices
  • 3 parsnips, in thin slices
  • 1 can coconut cream (optional but highly recommended)



  1. Optional step: roast ossobuco in a hot oven (220 C) for 45 minutes.
  2. Cook ossobuco with coarsely chopped onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil and simmer for a minimum of two hours. If you have a slow cooker and some time in your hands, cook it in low for a minimum of 8 hours. If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for??
  3. Reserve meat and marrow, strain broth and discard bones and vegetables.


  1. Peel and cut beetroots, carrots and parsnips in thin, 3-4 cm long strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot. Sautée beetroots for 5 minutes, add carrots and sautée for another 3 minutes, add parsnips and sautée for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. I like to purée most of the vegetables and leave some whole, but you can choose to go either way.
  5. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper, serve.
  6. Optional: whisk the coconut cream and add a dollop to the soup.


  • If you don’t have ossobuco, you can use oxtail, soup bones or even chicken. I’d dare to say you can even use vegetable stock and make it vegetarian.
  • If you don’t have coconut cream (Ayam is the only brand I’d recommend because it has only coconut and water), pop a can of (Ayam) coconut milk in the fridge the night before, then scoop the cream that has solidified on top and whisk it.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Dairy-free borsch

  1. sounds delicious Gaby 🙂
    i;m not a winter person, looooove warm weather!

  2. Looks delicious, so perfect for winter. I am neither a winter nor a summer person, I like them both for different reasons.

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