Our Polish Borscht recipe (Barszcz) creates a beet soup that is chock full of veggies and boasts a bright, sweet and sour flavor making it a perfect first course or warming meal.
Don’t you just love the beautiful color beets give to everything they come in contact with?
Well, maybe not your fingers.
Then it’s a little disconcerting when the red just won’t come out.
But to everything else, beets bring such beautiful color!
Borscht: Beet Soup
Borscht is a popular soup in many Eastern and Central European countries. And, while the soup’s ingredients (and spelling) vary by region, beets are the common thread throughout.
Ukrainian borsch, which is thought to be the original, includes potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, tomatoes, and a variety of beans.
Russian borscht will commonly include cabbage and potatoes, as well as meat.
The basic Polish barszcz includes beets, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.
Often for Polish barszcz, the soup is strained after cooking to produce a pure, red broth. This glassy broth is eaten with uszka, or mushroom-filled dumplings. It is this version of borscht that is commonly found on a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner tables.
Our Polish Barszcz Recipe
Since we like our soups hearty, we’ve left the veggies in our Polish borscht.
Peeled and cubed beets are cooked with a variety of vegetables, giving of a beautiful color and wonderful aroma.
Apple cider vinegar gives our barszcz its characteristic sour flavor, and nicely plays up the sweetness of the beets.
How To Serve Borscht
Since we like to keep our veggies in our beet soup, we tend to serve it as a main dish with some crusty bread.
Smaller servings, or a strained version of the soup makes for a great first course.
First course or main, a dollop of sour cream in your bowl adds a nice, creamy smoothness to this brothy soup.
If you’ve never tried beet soup, you really must! It’s a winter staple in our house!
And, if you can’t get enough beets, try this chilled beet soup for warmer days!
Our Polish Borscht recipe (Barszcz) is chock full of veggies and boasts a bright, sweet and sour flavor that makes it a perfect first course or warming meal.
Yield 6 c
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 -1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, cut into rounds
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 whole allspice berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 c beef stock (we prefer low sodium)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Pinch salt
- Sour cream and dill (to serve)
Melt butter in a large soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium high heat, until the onion is soft (5 min).
- Add beets, carrots, celery, allspice, and bay leaf. Stir to coat with butter.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the vegetables are tender (10 min).
Remove the pot from the heat. (If desired, you would strain the vegetables from your borscht now.) Stir the vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt into the broth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill, if desired.
This recipe from 2013 was updated in October 2017. We made the soup even tastier! Enjoy!