There’s nothing more comforting on a cold, winter day than a big, creamy bowl of hearty Chinese-style borscht soup. It’s loaded with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and ham in a creamy tomato soup base AND is both gluten-free and dairy-free.
When you think of borscht soup, you typically think of that deep red beet soup, or a classic Russian or Ukrainian borscht soup. If you are like me, then you might be surprised to find out that borscht soup is very popular in Asia. Just go to a Cantonese or Hong Kong restaurant and you will notice that they serve a borscht soup as an appetizer in many of their combo specials.
This Chinese-style borscht soup that I am sharing today is actually a Shanghai-style soup, but with a special secret ingredient. Normally borscht consists of a very light, watery soup base filled with vegetables, but here we have a creamy, thick soup base with vegetables. How do we get this dreamy creamy soup? By adding a secret ingredient — coconut milk.
What is in a Chinese-Style Borscht?
- Tomato soup base – made with tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut milk, and ketchup
- Vegetables – onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage
- Meat – ham or beef
You can make this soup completely vegetarian and leave out the meat. Either way, you will have this on your table in 30 minutes. It’s kind of the perfect winter weeknight meal. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which helps prevent or fight off those nasty colds. Like I said… perfect for winter.
So go ahead and indulge in a big bowl of this delicious and comforting soup. Better yet, serve it with some homemade biscuits on the side and enjoy!
Creamy and hearty Chinese-style borscht soup is loaded with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and ham AND is both gluten-free and dairy-free.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 cups cabbage, chopped
- 1 can (156 ml) tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons coconut milk (optional)
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into thin strips
- 1 lb. ham, cubed (optional)
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir fry lightly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add tomato and cook, continuously stirring, until the tomatoes soften, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in water and turn the heat up to high. Add carrots, cabbage, tomato paste, coconut milk, ketchup, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and ham (optional). Simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and tender, but not dissolved.
- Ketchup will enhance the flavor of the soup and eliminate the use of sugar. It’s great for first-timers.