Some people attempt to define the styles of Borscht, such as Ukrainian and Polish styles. Ukrainian-style Borscht, for instance, includes pieces of beef, ham or sausage. But then Russian style — and you have to remember Russia is a very big country, with many regions, so you actually have to say Russian styles — often includes such meat, too. In St Petersburg, herring is often included [1 in a Borscht-like soup, though some say the very presence of fish disqualifies it from being called a Borscht at all. Some variations in the warmer regions of southern Russia now use Coriander, Bell peppers and Tomatoes, and serve it cold (but remember, Bell Peppers and Tomatoes are a New World food, so don’t let anyone pass off any versions that include these as millennia old versions.) Generally, though, Russian Borschts are served hot.
It’s safe to say that Borscht is made with beets, as all variations have beets in common. And all good Borschts are soups that are so thick a spoon will almost stand upright in the pot.
To press further onto more treacherous ground, however, you can assume that generally other vegetables are also added, such as Cabbage and Potatoes, and that pieces of meat or meat stock are used in some variations.
Borscht can be served hot or cold. It is sometimes topped with a spoonful of sour cream and garnished with dill weed.
In addition to beets, Mushroom Borscht has cabbage and mushrooms in it.
Almost everyone would agree, though, that all Borschts are better the next day, when the flavours have had a chance to mellow and marry. Many feel that the best Borscht recipes have some Kvass poured into them.
Though all Eastern European countries claim their version is best, Borscht appears actually to have originated in the Ukraine.
 Moore, Galen. The varied versions of borscht, Russia’s bowl of plenty. Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. 9 January 2002.