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Polish Christmas Barszcz (Christmas Borscht)


1h 30 min + time to prepare the barszcz soup starter (or buy it)


8- 10



About the Recipe

Polish Barszcz, also known as borscht, is a traditional Eastern European soup that is enjoyed in many countries around the world. Clean red barszcz is usually served for Christmas with a side of krokiety, pierogi with sauerkraut or with “uszka”. For this recipe you will need to prepare a few days in advance or buy the red barszcz soup starter (zakwas na barszcz czerwony).


  • 2 cups (500ml) of red borstch soup starter (zakwas na barszcz czerwony / you can make it or buy it)

  • 6 medium beets, peeled

  • 1 onion, peeled

  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated

  • ½ of celery root, peeled

  • 2 bay leaves 

  • 5 allspices

  • 4 cups of water

  • 1 spoon of butter

  • 2-3 tsp of lemon juice

  • 1 tsp of sugar

  • ½ cup of dry mushroom- exactly ½  cup the water used to soak the dry mushroom

  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the red barszcz soup starter (5-7 days in advance), or buy it.

  1. Soak the mushroom overnight. 

  2. Peel the onion and broil on high it in the oven for 4 min.  Place the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves and allspice in a large pot, add water. Simmer on a small heat until the vegetables are soft. 

  3. Peel and slide the beets. On a big frying pan melt the butter, add the beets and cook it for about 15 min. After that add them to the pot with the other vegetables. 

  4. Add the red barszcz soup starter and ½ cup of water from the mushrooms. Cook everything for another 30 min. 

  5. Drain the barszcz, into another pot. Cook slowly, not allowing it to boil (will change color). Add the lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. 

  6. Serve with “uszka”, krokiety or pierogi. 


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