Ukrainian Style Polish Beet Soup {Barszcz Ukraiński}

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Ukrainian Style Polish Beet Soup {Barszcz Ukraiński}

This hearty and full flavored soup originated with our neighbor to the South-East, Ukraine. Although similar to the original, Polish version of the soup varies a bit. It is a beef based broth, that besides roasted beets also features beans and potatoes. Poles love for this earthy vegetable made barszcz ukraiński [barshch oo-krah-yee-nsky] a national favorite, and since we’ve put our stamp on it, I can easily consider it a Polish dish.

Barszcz is best when prepared one day before serving to let the beet flavor infiltrate the beef broth. If you’re short on time however, make sure to let it sit for at least 2 hours before serving. Baking beets ahead of time can also help expedite the process.

Poles eat soups year-round, taking advantage of whatever vegetables happen to be in season at the time. Since some veggies (like beets) may not be available during the winter months, beet soup will often be served in the summer and fall. This favorite red root bulb will often be jarred and preserved to be enjoyed when not available.

Check out the SOUPS section of my recipe index on top of the page to browse many varieties of this favorite flavor in soup form, one is even cold, called chłodnik (recipe here), very popular during the summer.

Ukrainian Style Polish Beet Soup {Barszcz Ukraiński}

Video recipe below: https://youtu.be/sNEwWBLHC5s 

Ukrainian Style Polish Beet Soup {Barszcz Ukraiński}

  • Yields: 10 + servings
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs / 1 kg / 6-7 small/medium beets
  • 12-14 oz / 350 - 380 g beef soup bone or beef rib
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 5-6 allspice seeds and peppercorns (whole)
  • 3 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 cups / 8 oz / 240 g of fresh green beans
  • 3 cups / 10 oz / 300 g / about 1/2 of small head of fresh green cabbage
  • 15.5 oz / 439 g can of light kidney beans
  • 15.5 oz / 439 g can of navy beans
  • 3-4 medium/small potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cups of cream or half & half
  • 2 tbs of flour
  • Dill for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Cut stems off the beets (at the stem not the bulb) and scrub them well under running water. Place in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1.5 hours. Take out, cool, peel and grate on the largest vegetable grater - you may want to use gloves and protect your garments for this part.

  2. While beets are baking, place beef bone in a large stock pot, add water, salt, peeled carrots, onion, allspice and peppercorns, bayleaves. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove carrots and set aside. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, wash fresh green beans, cut stem ends off and cut into about 1 inch / 3 cm pieces. Drain and rinse canned beans, set aside. Peel and cube potatoes (keep in cold water until ready to add to soup), set aside. Chop fresh cabbage, set aside.

  4. After total of 1.5 hours of boiling beef broth, take out beef bone and add 2 cups of water. Next add potatoes and green beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Next add canned beans, cabbage, sliced carrots . Bring to boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.

  5. At this time turn heat off, add vinegar and shredded beets and crushed garlic clove. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a stir and set aside (preferably overnight) for at least two hours.

  6. Next day, heat through. Mix cream (or half & half) with flour and add to hot soup. Heat until almost boiling. Taste and add a bit more salt, if needed.

  7. Sprinkle with fresh dill and serve hot.

Notes

Red barszcz looses it's color when boiled, this is why I recommend to let the soup sit overnight for flavors to combine. Limit boiling when reheating also. Vinegar will help with preserving the color.

Let me know what you think!

Happy cooking!

Anna


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4 Comments

  1. The ingredients list doesn’t show how many carrots to use. Also, Do you leave the bay leaves and onion in or do you take them out?

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