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Meatball Borscht

Meatball Borscht

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  • Author: Deanna, CGC
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Sauté, Simmer
  • Cuisine: Slavic
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A sweet, rich, and beautiful winter soup.  Grain-free, GAPS-legal. Perfect comfort on a cold day!




  • 3 Tbs beef tallow or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups chopped beets
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 14 oz canned (preferably in glass) diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 qts beef meat stock or bone broth
  • 2 qts water
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (23 Tbs)


  • 3 lbs ground beef, or mixture of beef and pork
  • 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt


Heat tallow in a large stock pot.  Add onions, celery, and carrots to the pot.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until onions are translucent.

Meanwhile, make meatballs by mixing meatball ingredients thoroughly and making palm-sized balls.

Add beets, cabbage, and tomatoes to the pot and pour stock and water over the vegetables. Add meatballs.  Bring pot to a gentle simmer.  Cook until vegetables are tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 50-60 minutes depending on the size of your vegetable chunks.  Turn the heat off.

Add crushed garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice.

Serve with 24-hr sour cream, fermented vegetables or sauerkraut, fresh dill, beet kvass, or lemon slices if desired.


This recipe is suitable for GAPS Introduction diet Stage 5 and beyond.

If you need more time to prepare the meatballs, or you like them a bit more rare, you can add them after the soup has been simmering for 20-30 minutes.

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