Barszcz, borscht, borshch, are all names for beautiful beet-based soups of Eastern European origin. Beyond beets, there are few similarities between barszcz recipes from country to country, region to region and family to family. Many people typically think of a Ukrainian variety (barszcz ukraiński), filled with chunks of vegetables, and some with meat. There’s also chłodnik, a refreshing cold beet summer soup that is served with sour cream or buttermilk.
This barszcz is more of a broth, with small bits of grated beets on the bottom and is the variety that is always served for Wigilia, or Christmas Eve. This soup is usually paired with small mushroom dumplings.
Many other Christmas Eve barszcz recipes yield a sweet flavor. I don’t know if this is a regional variation or simply a family variation, but I did not grow up eating barszcz with any sugar or sweetness beyond what came from the beets themselves. To each their own! Continue reading
Have you ever neglected to go grocery shopping for a while, looked in your kitchen and wondered what on earth you were going to cook? Well if that happens, chances are that you have at least 75% of the ingredients necessary to make this dish.
Flavorful, economical, and easy, this is a great soup to make on a Sunday and bring to work, or have ready for dinner for a few days when your day is over. If you don’t have all of the spices, don’t worry! Soups are rarely a perfect science, so just omit it if you don’t have it! Continue reading
Leczo is a bell pepper stew that originally hails from Hungary (where it is spelled lecso). At some point, variations made their way through the region and over to Poland. This is NOT a recipe for an authentic Hungarian Lecso, but it does contain some of the necessary fundamentals: peppers, onion, tomato, and paprika. The end result is still delicious and can be a vegetarian stew/ragout used to top something like rice or buckwheat, or it can include kielbasa or other meat to make it a heartier standalone stew. Or it can just be a great side. This recipe is also much thicker than a lot of other leczo recipes out there, but you can obviously combine elements of all and adjust based on your preferences. 🙂 Continue reading
Hey, this ingredient list looks familiar! Yep, because it’s the exact same as the homemade vegetable stock, just with chicken and thyme. The chicken from this stock tastes good, so don’t you dare discard the meat at the end! This stock will be a great base for almost any soup. Continue reading
Homemade stock will make your home smell incredible. This is the one we made in Poland, where we had all of these ingredients growing out back.
Roasted vegetables are simply so much more flavorful than those cooked using other methods.
Sweet potatoes can be used instead of yellow potatoes, and other gourds can be used as well. Find the combination that you like!
Before we get to the recipe, there are some things about borscht that I must explain! The thing is, there are many varieties! Continue reading
This carrot soup is really more of a broth, and is meant to be served with dumplings or noodles. Continue reading
Mmmmmm, homemade chicken noodle soup. Good for the stomach, good for the soul. That’s all you really need to know about this one!
- 5-7 chicken thighs/wings/legs
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 1 parsley root
- 1/2 celery root
After going mushroom picking with my family, my great aunt made the most incredible mushroom soup. It smelled so warm and earthy and completely transformed mushroom soup for me! This is my attempt to recreate that meal and bring back some memories while utilizing some of those wild forest mushrooms. Dried porcini mushrooms (or any dried wild mushrooms) that you find in most grocery stores have a deep, earthy flavor and should be the star of this dish. You don’t need much to enhance the flavor!
- 1 package crimini mushrooms
- 1 package white mushrooms
- Small handful of dried mushrooms