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Christmas Eve Beet Soup Recipe - Polish Barszcz Wigilijny


Polish Beet Soup - Barszcz

Polish Beet Soup - Barszcz

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Polish Christmas Eve beet soup or barszcz wigilijny is from chef Marek (Mark) Widomski, founder and director of the Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland.

Chef Mark and his staff offer classes in everything from peasant food to gourmet cuisine, tailoring them to the individual's needs, in Polish, English and other languages. Here is a larger photo of Polish beet soup. The soup is made with a beet sour (kwas) that must ferment for at least three days before using. The traditional way to eat barszcz wigilijny is with mushroom uszka.

Here are more beet recipes.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings Christmas Eve Barszcz


  • Beet Sour (kwas):
  • 3 1/2 pounds beets, peeled, rinsed and sliced
  • Boiled water cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 slice rye bread with crust
  • Beet Soup:
  • 1 pound beets, peeled, rinsed and sliced
  • 1/2 pound peeled, rinsed and sliced soup vegetables (carrot, parsnip, celery root, leek)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove mashed with a little salt
  • 2 cups beet sour
  • 1/4 cup strained liquid from soaking a dried mushroom
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


  1. To make the beet sour (kwas): Place 3 1/2 pounds prepared beets in a large crock or ceramic bowl. Cover with pre-boiled, lukewarm water. Add the rye bread slice, pushing it under the water. Cover the crock or bowl with cheesecloth and let stand at room temperature for three days. Then strain through cheesecloth, pour into a glass jar and seal it. Store in the fridge. You may eat the strained beets or discard them.

  2. To make the beet soup: Place prepared vegetables in a large stockpot. Add 6 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Strain, pressing on vegetables to extract every last ounce of goodness.

  3. Return the strained liquid to the pot and add garlic, beet sour, mushroom soaking liquid, salt and pepper, and sugar to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Before serving, stir in remaining 1 teaspoon butter and chopped parsley. Ladle into hot bowls and serve with mushroom uszka.
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