Sunday, 23 November 2014

You say borscht I say barszcz - beetroot soup & a taste of home

From borscht to barszcz and everything in between beetroot soup is popular all over Eastern Europe. In Poland, it's barszcz and what i've always called it. Traditionally made as part of Polish Christmas Eve celebrations (Wigilia) & served with little pasta uszka (ears) filled with wild mushrooms. A Festive tradition I carry on to this day.

To me barszcz is a taste of home - Polish comfort food. Sweet, sour and flavoured with dill. It packs a punch and is a great festive starter or as a nourishing lunch to keep the Winter blues away. 

This is my quick and easy beetroot soup recipe - on the table in about 40 minutes. With all the flavours I remember from my Babcia's slow cooked version but ready in a fraction of the time. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

1kg beetroot (peeled & roughly chopped)
1.5 litres good chicken/veg stock
1 onion (roughly chopped) 
1 clove garlic
3-4 bay leaves
2 tbs sugar
4 tbs red wine/cider vinegar
2-3 allspice berries
Salt & pepper
To garnish:
1 small bunch fresh dill (finely chopped)
Creme fraiche/sour cream 

  1. Add all the ingredients (apart from the garnish) to a large saucepan and bring to the boil
  2. Reduce the heat & simmer for about 30 minutes until the beetroot is tender
  3. Take off the heat, remove the bay leaves & allspice berries then blend (with an electric handheld blender or food processor) then check for seasoning. You might want to add more sugar/vinegar too depending on personal preference.
  4. Finish by garnishing with the chopped dill and a swirl of creme fraiche.
  5. I like to serve this with some rye bread & a shot of frozen Polish vodka (for authenticity reasons!) 

My barszcz recipe is also featured on:  

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage


 Posed Perfection

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much. A real taste of home for me :-)

  2. It sounds delicious, I love beetroot & allspice is one of my favourite spices. #FestiveFoodFridays

    1. It always reminds me of the festive season and my grans cooking :-)

  3. I have 4 beetroot in the fridge that I've just been using for a food photography job, now I've worked out what to make with them! I normally bake them whole, any tips for not staining your hands whilst peeling them?! Thanks for linking to #festivefoodfriday, I love hearing of Christmas traditions from other countries x

    1. The only thing is rubber gloves! I love discovering food traditions too. Learning about French ones since moving here :)


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