Polish Beet Soup — “Barszcz”

I’m going out on a limb here, because unless you’re East­ern Euro­pean, Pol­ish Beet Soup soup might seeem like acquired taste… Or maybe I think that because I fed it to an Asian friend once and he was so weirded out, I might as well fed him mon­key brains (but he ate it to the last drop anyway…)

Polish Beet Soup - "Barszcz"

It’s soo worth going out and try­ing some­thing new — because this soup is sweet, spicy and tangy. It doesn’t seem like it, but if you eat it steam­ing hot, it warms you up and “sticks to your ribs” like few other soups I know. Like a stew, it devel­opes a depth after a night in the fridge, so plan to have leftovers.

This recipe is just like the barszcz I used to eat when grow­ing up in Poland, except that we added some mild Ital­ian sausages and sim­mered them along with the soup. This ver­sion is not strained, so the veg­etable con­tents are left in and pureed, leav­ing you more nutri­ents — beets are rich sources of iron, potas­sium and vitamin-​C. I like to sea­son my barszcz with lots of black pep­per, and sprin­kled with some dried mar­jo­ram on top. You can also add boiled pota­toes to your bowl and have a dol­lop of sour cream on top. And then you will become Pol­ish (kidding).

Polish Beet Soup - "Barszcz"

Rant: I’m nor­mally extremely lib­eral when it comes to recipe inter­pre­ta­tions, but here I stop and say — this is how you do this. This way and no other! I’m amazed at what peo­ple do and still call it barszcz. For starters, you don’t add toma­toes, apples, or mush­rooms. Same goes for lemon juice… (You couldn’t even buy lemons in Poland before the early 90’s…or was that oranges?) And please promise me you won’t stick red pep­pers, or cumin in it, either.

In case you’re won­der­ing, here’s how you pro­nounce “barszcz


Pol­ish Beet Soup — “Barszcz”
Recipe type: Soups
Cui­sine: Pol­ish
Serves: 6
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cel­ery sticks, chopped
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and sliced
  • 10 cups chicken broth, prefer­ably homemade
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 links of mild Ital­ian sausage (don’t slice yet)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs dried marjoram
  • Salt, to taste
  • Addi­tions and garnishes:
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold pota­toes, boiled and diced
  • sour cream on the side
  • a few pars­ley leaves
  1. Melt the but­ter in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cel­ery, and sauté until lightly browned. Add the beets and chicken broth, then stir to incor­po­rate. Add the bay leaves, sausages, black pep­per and mar­jo­ram, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a sim­mer, cover and cook for 45 mins — 1 hour, until the beets are tender.
  2. In a sep­a­rate pot, boil a few yel­low pota­toes, such as Yukon Gold. Cut them up and place in soup bowls.
  3. Remove the sausages from the soup, and when cool enough to han­dle, slice them and place in the bowls with the pota­toes. Remove the bay leaves from the soup. Using an immer­sion blender, purée the soup, then sea­son with salt. Pour the soup over the sausages and pota­toes, mak­ing sure it’s steam­ing hot. Serve with a side of sour cream and a lit­tle parsley.


  1. Well, in Ukraine, we call it borscht and it is our favourite and the health­i­est and the yum­mi­est soup ever!!! Asians are eat­ing frogs and duck fetuses, so really?! Beet soup is weird?!LOL.
    P.S. Your pho­tos are beau­ti­ful and I just checked your Pin­ter­est, you should work it! Your traf­fic will sky­rocket, girl.

    • CanuckCuisine says:

      I got your com­ments when I was stand­ing at the check­out at Super­store, haha, you made my day :P I feel really encour­aged by you and other peeps who left good feed­back recently, it feels great!

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