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: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs / 1 kg / 6-7 small/medium beets
  • 12-14 oz / 350-380 g beef soup bones or beef ribs
  • 6 c / 1½ l of water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 carrots
  • ¼ of an onion
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns and allspice berries (each)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 c / 8 oz / 240 g of fresh green beans
  • One 15.5 oz / 439 g can of white kidney beans
  • One 15.5 oz / 439 g can of navy beans
  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • 3 c / 10 oz / 300 g / about ½ of a small head of fresh green cabbage
  • ⅛ c of white vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ c of sweet cream
  • 2 tbsp of all-purpose 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 until soft (large ones will take 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 bones in a large stockpot, add water, salt, peeled carrots, onion, allspice berries and peppercorns, and bay leaves. 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 centimeter 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 a total of 1 ½ hours of boiling beef broth, take out beef bone and add 2 cups / 500 milliliters of water. Next, add potatoes and green beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Next, add canned beans, cabbage, and sliced carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.

  5. At this time, turn heat off, add vinegar, shredded beets, and crushed garlic clove. I also added about ½ teaspoon of salt. Give it a stir and set aside for at least two hours (preferably overnight).

  6. When ready to eat. mix sweet cream with flour and slowly add about 1 cup of soup to it to temper it. Stir well to combine. Add flour mixture to hot soup and heat until almost boiling. Taste and add a bit more salt, if needed.

  7. Sprinkle with fresh dill and serve hot.

Notes

Red barszcz loses it's color when boiled, this is why I recommend letting 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

Polish Beet Soup Polish Beet Soup Polish Beet Soup


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6 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?

  2. I come from a long line of borscht makers…I made this recipe and my dad said it’s the best he’s ever had!

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