Christmas Eve Borscht is for me the highlight of the Polish Christmas Eve meal. It is served as the first of 12 dishes (according to tradition) and I couldn’t imagine Christmas Eve without it. Having said that, customs can vary from region to region and many people in Poland prepare wild mushroom soup instead of the borscht. Commonalities do exist though as wild mushrooms are also added to the Christmas Eve Borscht.
The Christmas Eve Borscht is different from the everyday borscht (the one people tend to be more familiar with) in that it is served without any vegetables, as broth really. It is also made with very few ingredients, which never include meat! Polish Christmas Eve has traditionally been meat free, though not vegetarian, as the meal consists of at least one fish dish.
To most people (those who haven’t grown up with this tradition) this soup must seem a bit odd. After all, it’s just beets cooked with 2-3 mushrooms and not much else. This is why it’s important to add vinegar, soy sauce and a good amount of seasoning to bring out the flavour of the beetroot and add sharpness to this soup. What makes this soup truly exciting, however, are the porcini dumplings that are served with it (the recipe for those will go on the blog tomorrow!). This soup is a bit like the East European version of the wanton soup – mostly liquid, with a few dumplings floating on top (I’ll take some photos to illustrate that better tomorrow).
Don’t miss my Polish Christmas Eve Porcini Dumplings on the blog tomorrow:)
10 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hr, 60 Total Time
- 4 medium beets, peeled, cut in half
- 2 small marinated beets, coarsely grated
- 1 small celery stick
- 1 small onion, peeled, whole
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, cut in half
- 2-3 large pieces dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
- 2 allspice, whole
- 1 tablespoon salt plus plenty of pepper
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or other, but add gradually according to taste)
- 1.5 - 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 - 2.25 l water
- Place all the ingredients (apart from the butter and vinegar) in a large pot, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Half way through add the vinegar. Remove from the heat and add the butter and soy sauce, adjust the seasoning, remove the vegetables and serve (only the liquid) with porcini dumplings (recipe on the blog TOMORROW!)
- What to do with the leftover beets: you can grate them, add some oil, lemon juice, dill or coriander, season and serve as a veggie side dish (hot or cold).
For more Christmas recipes click < THIS > link:)