Borscht – Beet Soup

Borscht

When ever my Polish-American mother visits or we visit her, my family orders up a pot of Borscht, beet soup. It’s become a tradition and this past week for our Christmas visit it was the first item on the menu. I always thought the recipe was complicated, but it was a lot easier than I thought when she broke the steps down like below. It makes the most beautiful broth or “pink soup”, which the kids call it.

There are probably many family recipes for borscht from Russia, Poland and the Ukraine.  Theres probably an equally wide number of accompaniments added in. My husband and kids love the uszka (translates to “little ears”) that my mom buys from a Polish deli. They are basically mini pierogi that are filled with meat or mushrooms. If uszka are not available, possible delicious protein additives are Polish sausage or hard boiled egg slices. We add the sliced beets back in and finish with a dollop of horseradish sauce at the table. My mother’s horseradish sauce is awesome, but a post for another day…..

beets – depending on size, 4 medium or 6 small ones
2 quarts water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
juice from 1 lemon
8 tablespoon flour
1 cup water
2 egg yokes
1 cup half & half

1. Slice beets 1/4″ thick. Place beets, salt, sugar, lemon juice and 2 quarts of water in a soup pot. Bring this to a boil and simmer until the beets are tender, about 25 mins. Take beets out of the soup pot.

2. Mix together 1 cup of water and flour to make a slurry. Pour through a sieve into the beet broth.  Discard any flour lumps left in sieve. Simmer 5 minutes which will thicken the soup a little..

3. Beat egg yokes and half & half in a tall glass or 2 cup pyrex measuring cup. Start tempering the cold egg yolk mixture by adding one spoon at a time of hot soup. After adding 6-8 spoons, add a ladle or two until your container is full.  Then pour your tempered mixture through a sieve back into the soup.  Cook about 1 minute or so until soup warms up again. Then turn off the heat. Adding small amounts of hot soup into cold egg yolks
helps prevent making scrambled eggs.

Serve with or without the toppings….ok at least try horseradish, the kick won’t disappoint!

Borscht - Beet Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Polish Soup
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • beets - depending on size, 4 medium or 6 small ones
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 8 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 egg yokes
  • 1 cup half & half
Instructions
  1. Slice beets ¼" thick. Place beets, salt, sugar, lemon juice and 2 quarts of water in a soup pot. Bring this to a boil and simmer until the beets are tender, about 25 mins. Take beets out of the soup pot.
  2. Mix together 1 cup of water and flour to make a slurry. Pour through a sieve into the beet broth. Discard any flour lumps left in sieve. Simmer 5 minutes which will thicken the soup a little..
  3. Beat egg yokes and half & half in a tall glass or 2 cup pyrex measuring cup. Start tempering the cold egg yolk mixture by adding one spoon at a time of hot soup. After adding 6-8 spoons, add a ladle or two until your container is full. Then pour your tempered mixture through a sieve back into the soup. Cook about 1 minute or so until soup warms up again. Then turn off the heat. Adding small amounts of hot soup into cold egg yolks
  4. helps prevent making scrambled eggs.

 

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