Barszcz Czerwony – Polish Red Borscht

A simple, yet healthy recipe. Borscht is made in Eastern Europe; from Russia to Ukraine, to Poland. Poland also has another borscht, that is white (without beets, barszcz biały).

After browsing recipes in English and Polish, the Polish variety of borscht is very simple. Some may make a fermented beet starter, also known as kwas. Others simple make it a beet soup. You can’t really add beets to anything without making a mess, so be prepared for some clean up (I don’t recommend storing leftovers of this one as this can make a mess)

There are basic ingredients in the soup, nothing fancy:

  • Beets, or beet kwas
  • Garlic
  • Onions (white or yellow)
  • Beef, Vegetable, or Chicken Broth
  • Marjoram or allspice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vinegar, or lemon juice (if omitting the kwas
  • (Optional: carrots and celery)
  1. You can either bake the beets in the oven first, or add in them chopped, raw. Either way, start with sautéing your onion.
  2. Then add garlic and beets, and any other vegetable you are using.
  3. Add stock, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoning, and simmer for as long as you would like.
  4. It is optional to top with fresh dill and/or sour cream as well.

Side note: the Polish borscht is the simplest of them all. Russians may add cabbage and meat as well, and the Ukrainians add extras as well. There is also a traditional Christmas meal in Poland where mushrooms are added to the borscht.

I hope you enjoyed reading, learning, and cooking!

Haluski

An Eastern European food typically attributed to Polish origin. It can be a vegetarian dish by not using pork, and is mostly omitted anyways. I added it for more filling. This takes about 10 minutes from starting your prep to finish. Cheap, delicious, and easy.

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Egg noodles
  • (Optional) – pork: bacon, pancetta, kielbasa
  1. Heat a pot of water and a pan with some butter and pork if using.
  2. Chop the onion then put in pan of butter and sauté for a couple minutes
  3. Add egg noodles to water then chop your cabbage
  4. Add your cabbage and some salt and pepper to pan of onions and cook until soft
  5. Add drained egg noodles.
  6. Done

Roast Vegetables

Oil and seasonings are the main thing.

For potatoes I may do the standard mix I use: salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then I may add Italian seasoning.

For broccoli, cauliflower, or broccolini, I just use that 4 spice mix.

For carrots I add some brown sugar and the 4 spice mix.

Whatever the vegetable; toss in olive oil, garlic oil, or your preferred oil, and season generously.

Then put on a pan with parchment paper on 375. Stir once or twice and turn pan around to cook evenly. The time varies greatly depending on the size you cut the vegetables, and the variety.

Broccolini will be done in less than 15 minutes, while carrots may take over 30.

Himmel und Erde

“Heaven and earth”. Mashed potatoes and apples.

  1. Peel an equal amount of apples and potatoes, then large dice the potatoes and large slice the apples.
  2. Boil gently until both are tender in salted water.
  3. Drain, mash together, then add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Apfelkuchen

Apfelkuchen is a German apple cake. This particular one was in “Fredericksburg Home Kitchen Cook Book (13th edition, 150th anniversary of Fredericksburg)”, with Mrs. Henry J. Bierschwale submitring this recipe in 1975.

  • 3 green apples
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • (Optional pecans)
  1. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl
  2. In large bowl add hot water to apples, then oil, then eggs, then flour mixture, and pecans if using
  3. Put in greased baking dish on 325F for 1 1/4 hours

Rödkål

A Swedish way of cooking red cabbage. It is very similar to the German Rotkohl, except I found there are less recipes with green apple. I originally found Rödkål in “Swedish Touches”, and then looked for recipes in Swedish.

  1. Sautée shredded cabbage in butter or lard
  2. Add water and salt, then cover. Simmer until halfway done
  3. Add cloves, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Finish cooking

Rosolje

Rosolje is an Estonian beet potato salad, with a “kaste” (sauce)

Diced Salad

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Pickles
  • Red or White Onion
  • Green Apple
  • Herring Fillets

Kaste

  • Mayonnaise
  • Plain full fat yogurt or sour cream
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard (preferably hot)
  • Horseradish
  • S&P

Beet Salad

  1. Equal parts potato and beets, then whatever you want to add

Kaste

  1. Equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt, then the rest to taste

—Serve with boiled eggs and chives or parsley

Rotkohl

Rotkohl means Red – Rot, Cabbage – Kohl. It is a very traditional and popular way to serve red cabbage, and is usually accompanied by meat. This recipe is based on the one by Mrs. W. E. Richter from the 12th Edition in 1978.

  • 1 small to medium red cabbage, shredded
  • 2T sautéing fat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large green apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
    Sautée onion
    Add cabbage, apples, sugar, S&P, and water
    Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes
    Add vinegar, cover, and cook for another 15 minutes or until cabbage is soft

Gnocchi

Gnocchi is a very simple potato pasta.

  • Potatoes – 2lbs, peeled
  • Flour 3/4-1 cup if baking potatoes, 1 1/2-1 3/4 if boiling potatoes
  • 1 egg
    Peel potatoes and slice into big chucks and boil gently until mashable, or bake on 350 until mushable.
    If you have a ricer, that is great; if not, mash your potatoes as finely as possible, then add the egg and some salt
    Add flour
    Knead until combined, but do not overmix, adding any flour as needed. As always, start with less and work your way up.
    Get a salted pot of water gently boiling
    Grab a small handful of dough while keeping the rest covered with a wet towel, and roll out the dough into 1″ cylinders. I use non-stick spray when rolling, but you can use flour.
    Use a pastry cutter to cut them into bite-sized pieces and roll smooth; it is optional to roll with a fork to create indentions, or you can even buy a gnocchi board for about $10.
    Boil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Once they all float, I give it 20 seconds. I like mine al dente though you can cook it farther depending on preference. Scoop and drain them, and set on parchment paper.
    Sautée in butter or lard and use whatever sauce you choose