Sunday Video: How to Make Borscht With Neko Case

“You can talk to your soup. It likes encouragement.”

Neko Case, singer/songwriter/musician/badass human, learned to cook in professional kitchens, which means she’s full of tips like how not to cry while chopping onions (rinse them off or put them in the freezer for a little bit first). She also makes a delicious, dazzlingly pink pot of borscht, a beet soup of Russian and Eastern European extraction that is served hot or cold. In this video, Case shows you how easy it is to make. It takes a while—like two or three hours, depending on how long it takes you to chop veggies. But as she points out: “You should also be listening to your favorite music while cooking this, and/or hanging out with your friends and talking about stuff.” You know, having fun. The list of ingredients and equipment you’ll need is included below. For now, just watch and learn:

What you’ll need:

• 2 large beets
• 3 large potatoes
• 1 large onion (yellow or white)
• Olive oil or butter
• 1/2 bunch of celery
• 4 medium carrots
• 1 small bunch of scallions (a.k.a. green onions)
• 1 clove of garlic (optional)
• 2 quarts of veggie, chicken, or beef broth
• 1 small head of red cabbage
• 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
• Salt, to taste
• 2 big, fresh bunches of dill
• 1 tablespoon of honey
• 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
• Sour cream
• 1 can of cannellini beans (optional)

• A kitchen knife
• A cutting board
• 2 large pots (one for boiling potatoes and beets and one for borscht)
• 1 large, heat-safe bowl
• 1 colander

This recipe makes an enormous amount of borscht—enough to feed a family or a small army of pals. Whatever you can’t eat right away, you can store in the freezer.


  • Sophie ❤ August 25th, 2013 12:10 PM

    Amazing! The people who discover these kinds of things really make the world much more fascinating. I’m definitely going to try this out.

  • soviet_kitsch August 25th, 2013 12:34 PM


  • MaddsBeMe August 25th, 2013 12:39 PM

    Neko Case on rookie making Borscht, Can’t get anymore perfect than that!!

  • Amal August 25th, 2013 1:45 PM

    I want to try this! It looks amazing!

  • thatchocoholic August 25th, 2013 2:42 PM

    My dad just told me Neko Case is his best friend’s ex girlfriend!! He used to hang out with her in Tacoma in 1993…so cool omg <3

    (hey that rhymes)



  • ♡ reba ♡ August 25th, 2013 6:12 PM

    haha my mum always makes borscht! when i was little i would love it because it would make my pee pink but thats probably too much information… cute video :-)

  • kathryn-s August 25th, 2013 7:33 PM

    I love when Rookie does cooking/baking articles and videos!!

  • purrr August 26th, 2013 2:03 AM

    im russian and laughing this is so funny oh my gosh the way americans make food from other countries is just hilarious

  • purrr August 26th, 2013 3:59 AM

    oops i forgot to self-promote
    if u wanna follow a russian feminist i gotcha needs covered:

    but yes, re:borscht – i think it’s funny how americans change recipies and then when someone says “this isn’t real borscht” they use that as a justification for their recipe. a lot of things about this recipe will make it seem really non-russian and i think its important to know that, because preserving culture is important – but also experimenting with food is fun. i bet this recipe is really good and you should definitely try it, but just fyi, it’s quite different from what i am used to (not only within my family, but in all of russia).

    also for people who want to try recipes from other countries – you should check out the youtube channel “cooking with dog”. tbh i would write an article for rookie about how much i love this channel, like a Literally The Best Thing Ever.

    also if you want to try some raw vegan food – Alex and Jonsi from Sigur Ros released a cookbook zine you can download online for free. it’s really good.

    and yah another link bc i deserve the attention >

    • julalondon August 26th, 2013 11:05 AM

      So, you are russian and you are saying this isn’t Borscht that means it is real Borscht!=)

    • err inn August 26th, 2013 11:14 PM

      Borscht isn’t strictly a Russian food, and Neko is not Russian, she’s Ukranian, so that, along with it being made in America for a couple of generations in various economic situations probably accounts for it being very different from what you eat (which is probably different from what other Russians eat in other parts of Russia and in different families, too, as I have heard from other Russians, so it’s odd to hear you say there is one true recipe for it, I mean that without any disrespect). I’ve also heard that the taste of vegetables and herbs can differ noticeably from Russia to the US, so even if one were to follow the same recipe you use, it might taste totally different. Food is weird like that. Weird and wonderful.

  • julalondon August 26th, 2013 11:04 AM

    I have to show this to my sister, we are so going to cook this!!!=)

  • August 26th, 2013 12:43 PM

    Great video. (:

    Love, unicorns and glitter on you. <3


  • speakthroughvision August 26th, 2013 4:52 PM

    I’m Russian, so I grew up eating this since I was a toddler! I still remember my grandmother blowing on each spoonful while I wished there was more sour cream in it because I loved it’s cold texture :) My family makes it to this day and seeing this article made me happy! I’m glad Rookie took on such a great dish.

  • EmmaS August 27th, 2013 12:03 PM

    I love how Neko cooks too much of all the food, it’s so funny. I can’t wait to try this out! I’ve never heard of Borscht before!!

  • cool_tho August 28th, 2013 12:43 AM

    I tried this and its amazing! I love beets so I kind of knew I would. But still A+.
    Keep making food vids Rookie.
    They make me eat better tasting/non-boring things!