One of my favourite Polish soups, especially that exact version. My Nan is a barszcz master, no one can make it tastier than she does. I did try, following my Grandma’s recipe carefully. To be honest, it was quite similar to my Nan’s barszcz but not exactly the same. What did I miss? What is my Nan’s secret ingredient? Could it be love? ^^
POLISH BEETROOT SOUP (BARSZCZ)
7 medium beetroots
a bit of celeriac
1/3 of a leek
3 garlic cloves
1/2 apple or few dried apple slices
you will also need:
bay leaves (optional)
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Wash and peel your vegetables. Cut carrots and parsnips in thick strips. Chop onion, leek and celeriac into chunky bits. Peel the garlic, don’t chop it. Slice the beetroot.
2. Add all the vegetables and apple slices to a big pot and fill it up with water (almost full). Add a pinch of salt, half a teaspoon of sugar and bring it to a slow boil. Add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar when you see that beetroots gave out the colour to the soup.
3. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft. The colour of the soup should be a deep pink. Simmer for about 1-1,5 hour.
4. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes. Boil them in salted water. You will use them later to eat together with barszcz. Cook the eggs. You will need hard-boiled eggs to serve with barszcz.
5. When soft, take the vegetables out, saving the soup. Put the soup back on the heat (you can use smaller pot now, since you got rid of the vegetables). Add the sausage to the barszcz. Add some fresh beetroot as well (to deepen the colour of the soup). Let it simmer on a low heat.
6. Heat up the frying pan with a drop of oil. When hot, throw the chopped onion in and cook until slightly golden. Add the fried onion to the barszcz (avoiding adding the oil with it).
7. When the sausage in the barszcz is cooked and beetroot soft, season your barszcz. Add some more vinegar (if desired), black pepper, salt, bay leaf (optional).
8. In a mug, mix some sour cream (2 tablespoons) with hot soup (1 ladle). When mixed, pour it into the soup over a small sieve. That would give the barszcz nice, creamy flavour and pinkish colour. Add some freshly chopped dill.
9. Serve your barszcz with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, sprinkling it with extra dill.