This easy clear red beet soup (barszcz czysty czerwony) recipe gets the desired hint of sourness from lemon juice or vinegar and is great eaten hot with boiled potatoes or cold with rye bread.
Traditional beet soups get their sourness from a kwas. Barszcz in Polish means "borscht." Barszcz is sometimes made with a kwas or sour starter and is usually red (made with fermented beets known as a kwas buraków) or white (made with fermented rye flour or bread known as a żur or kwas chlebowy).
White borscht, known as biały barszcz or żurek wielkanocny (Easter sour soup) is made with white kiełbasa cooking water, potatoes, sour cream, sausage, hard-cooked eggs and a żur, similar to a kwas, only a żur (also known as kwas chlebowy) is made by fermenting rye flour or bread with water in a jar or crock for up to five days.
More Polish Beet Recipes
- Polish Beets with Sour Cream (Buraczki z Smietana) Recipe: This beet side dish becomes a brilliant shade of magenta with the addition of sour cream and dill.
- Polish Cold Cucumber-Beet Soup (Chłodnik or Zupa Letnia) Recipe: This is a no-cook cold soup made with buttermilk that quenches the thirst on a hot day.
- Polish Pickled Beets (Buraczki Marynowane) Recipe: Choose small, young, blemish-free beets and can them whole or slice larger ones and place them in the sweet-tart brine before processing.
- 4 beets, washed, or 2 cups sliced canned or jarred beets
- 4 cups meat or vegetable stock
- 1 minced clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- Salt and black pepper
- Chopped fresh dill for garnish
- If using fresh beets, heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap 4 beets in aluminum foil and roast until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice into strips or julienne.
- In a medium pot, bring 4 cups meat or vegetable (if fasting) stock to boil, add cooked and sliced beets or 2 cups sliced canned or jarred beets, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with boiled potatoes and chopped dill for garnish, or cool quickly in an ice-water bath and refrigerate to serve cold garnished with dill and sour cream. Cold creamed beet soup is known as barszcz zabielany.