Authentic Ukrainian Borsch

Borscht, a deep red beet and cabbage soup, is popular all around Ukraine. The recipe might slightly differ by regions, but the main ingredients still remain the same – cabbage, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, sour cream, and dill. Depending on a season, borscht can be served hot and cold, with cold varieties often being light or vegetarian.

Hot borscht is a staple hearty lunch meal in the cold months of Ukrainian autumn and winter. It is usually a meal by itself and is accompanied by a few slices of dark and dense rye bread. In order to make it, you will first need to cook a stock. Beef bone marrow, meaty pork bones, or chicken, with an addition of root vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and parsley stalks, should be simmered for at least three hours. After that, the stock is filtered, and the cooked meat is separated from the bones and returned to the pot, while the bones and vegetables are thrown away. Meanwhile, thinly shred 1 medium-size cabbage and a few small beets, and cube about 4-5 peeled potatoes. Shredded beets have to be sprinkled with lemon juice not to lose their deep colour. Add potatoes, beets and cabbage to the pot, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are soft. While the vegetables are being cooked, prepare “zapravka”: in a heavy skillet, sauté in lard or goose fat 1 thinly sliced onion and 1 chopped carrot. Add about 2 tbsp tomato paste, salt, sugar and pepper to taste, and sauté for about 10 minutes more. Add to the pot and simmer for additional 5 minutes. When the borscht is almost ready, check again for the spices, and add a bunch of chopped dill and a few cloves of minced garlic. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve borscht hot with “smetana” (home-made sour cream), sourdough bread or “pampushki” (hot rounds buns with chopped garlic), and a tiny glass of “horilka z pertsem” (Ukrainian vodka brewed with hot pepper). For the Ukrainians, a pot of borsht usually lasts a couple of days, and it is especially delicious on the following day.

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  1. [...] This sour-sweet beverage is used in the preparation of Ukrainian borscht or as a refreshing and beneficial tonic. Peel and chop coarsely 3 medium raw beets. Place in a 2-quart glass or clay container together with 1/4 cup home-made whey and 1 tbsp salt. Add filtered water to fill the container, stir well, and cover tightly. Keep in room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to a cold storage. When most liquid has been drunk, fill up the container with water again and keep at room temperature for another 2 days. After the second brew, discard the beets and start again. [...]

  2. [...] absolutely wonderful vegan version of the traditional Ukrainian Borscht! To buy a full episode on DVD, visit http://www.amazon.com http://www.HippyGourmet.com ht&… popular episode of the Hippy Gourmet on PBS, we visit [...]

8 Comments

  1. Beets in Ukrainian Cuisine | Ukrainian Guide, 6 years ago

    [...] This sour-sweet beverage is used in the preparation of Ukrainian borscht or as a refreshing and beneficial tonic. Peel and chop coarsely 3 medium raw beets. Place in a 2-quart glass or clay container together with 1/4 cup home-made whey and 1 tbsp salt. Add filtered water to fill the container, stir well, and cover tightly. Keep in room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to a cold storage. When most liquid has been drunk, fill up the container with water again and keep at room temperature for another 2 days. After the second brew, discard the beets and start again. [...]

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  2. Robert Bennett, 6 years ago

    I had both in Russia and in the Ukraine a soup called something like Sloymianka, I do not know the correct spelling could you please email me a recipe Thanking you in advance I remain Bob.

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  3. Elisa, 3 years ago

    maybe it’s soljanka?

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  4. Olga Grechukha, 3 years ago

    Nope, borsch is definetly not a solyanka! Solyanka is soup based on the pork rib stock, smoked meat and tomato paste with garlic, onions and crots dices and simmered.

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  5. Barbara Rolek, 3 years ago

    Here’s my recipe for soljanka (also spelled solyanka) — http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/Russian-Soup-Recipes/r/Solyanka-Soup-Recipe.htm

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  6. Getting to know Alex Romanovsky « DLA Architects Ltd Blog - What’s New, 3 years ago

    [...] Borscht! Also like Chicken Kiev [...]

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  7. Hippy Gourmet makes Vegan Borscht! - Gourmet Vegan Recipes | Best Vegan Recipies, 2 years ago

    [...] absolutely wonderful vegan version of the traditional Ukrainian Borscht! To buy a full episode on DVD, visit http://www.amazon.com http://www.HippyGourmet.com ht&… popular episode of the Hippy Gourmet on PBS, we visit [...]

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