Polish Young Beet Soup {Botwinka}

Botwinka [pron. boh-tveen-kah] means a soup made of young beets. Now is the time! Young beets are in season, so why not present this tasty and very traditional Polish soup. Poles eat tons of beets… in soups, as condiments, cold or hot salads .

I personally love beets and eat them often. I do prefer fresh (opposed to canned), they just taste so much better. Its like it’s a whole different vegetable. Canning just sucks the taste out of them. I don’t recommend wasting your money. Commit to cooking “the real thing” or be ready to eat mediocre food… not for me. 

Young beet soup {botwinka} is a savory and pretty hearty soup. It is often eaten garnished with a hard-boiled egg, but not always.

Polish Young Beet Soup {Botwinka}

  • Yields: 4-5 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min


  • 2 quarts of water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 pork rib pieces (2 bones each)
  • 3 small young beets (roots, stems and leaves)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tbs of vinegar
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • Additionally:
  • Sour cream
  • Parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut leaves off the beets at the stem. Wash roots and bake roots only, covered for about 30 min - small beets; 45 min - medium beets and close to 60 min - large beets.

  2. Wash and dry pork ribs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté in a bit of grease on medium heat until golden brown.

  3. Heat water (or broth) and add sautéed ribs, carrots and spices. Boil on low heat for about 30 minutes.

  4. Cut washed beet stems and leaves into about 0.5 inch pieces. Add to soup. Boil for another 5-7 min, until stems are soft.

  5. Cool cooked beets, peel them and cut into similar pieces. Add to soup along with vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and heat through. Don't boil. Taste and add salt, if needed.


Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

Happy cooking and let me if you like beets as much as me.