Easy Polish Beet Soup (Barszcz Czysty Czerwony) Recipe

Beet Soup
Beet Soup. Natasha Belikova / Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (92)

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.

Barszcz in Polish means "borscht." Traditional 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 (see more about white barszcz, below) made with fermented rye flour or bread known as a żur or kwas chlebowy

This meatless soup is often served with mushroom uszka ("little ear" dumplings) for Polish Christmas Eve dinner known as wigilia, when it is known as barszcz wigilijny.


What You'll Need

  • 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

How to Make It

  1. If using fresh beets, heat oven to 400 F. Wrap 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.
  2. In a medium pot, bring meat or vegetable (if fasting) stock to boil, add cooked and sliced beets or 2 cups sliced canned or jarred beets, garlic, sugar, fresh lemon juice or red-wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes.
  1. 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

White Barszcz

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.

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