Less known than the famous red variety, green borscht is often made in summertime when getting fresh sorrel is easy. It is an herby and bright soup, perfect for those who want something a little lighter than than the earthy beetroot version.
Borscht, also spelled borsh or borshch or borsch (and more), traditionally refers to the Ukrainian beetroot soup that is popular in much of Eastern Europe. However there is another popular variation, green borscht, which replaces the earthy red beetroot with fresh and tangy sorrel.
While there are plenty of ways a Ukrainian would prepare green borscht, this version is actually Alona’s recipe. We’ve been spending the past two weeks in her hometown and her family have been kind enough to teach me all sorts of traditional recipes. Some of my favorites are her grandmother’s liver cake and her mom’s Ukrainian cherry cheesecake.
How To Make Green Borscht
The first step in making green borscht is to create the base. While it may not look that appetizing it’s necessary for a rich flavor. In a pot add water and pork ribs, some salt and pepper, and a couple bay leaves, and bring it up to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and let cook for about an hour.
Once the ribs are sufficiently tender it’s time to add the potatoes. I add in about 500 grams of cubed young potatoes. Raise the heat back to high and let cook for 10 minutes. While this is happening you should hard boil 4-5 eggs.
In a skillet with a bit of oil quickly fry some grated carrot and onion. I use one carrot and one onion, but you could use more or less depending on taste. Once everything is fried a bit add it to the soup pot.
Peel and chop the hard boiled eggs you just made and add them to the pot.
In a small bowl beat together one egg and a tablespoon of sour cream. The sour cream we use here in Ukraine is actually called smetana which is a bit different than the American version, but Daisy will work just fine.
Give the pot a good swirl and slowly trickle in the egg mixture. In a way it is kind of like making egg drop soup; You want the eggs to cook as soon as they hit the boiling soup and form little strings. This is also a similar method when making Italian Stracciatella.
Chop up a good couple handfulls of sorrel leaves into strips. These are added at the end so they do not get too wilted and lose all their color. Just turn the heat off of the soup, add in the chopped sorrel, give a good stir and voila…green borscht.
- 500 grams Pork Ribs
- 500 grams Young Potatoes cubed
- 200 grams Sorrel fresh
- 1 Onion
- 1 Carrot
- 5 Eggs 4 hardboiled
- 1 tbsp Sour Cream or Smetana if you can find it
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp Oil
- In a pot add the pork ribs along with salt and pepper and the bay leaves. Ad water up to 60% of the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid for one hour.
- Add in the potatoes and bring back up to a boil. Let cook for 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking quickly fry some grated onion and carrot in a pan with a bit of oil. Add to the borscht and give everything a stir. Also chop up the hard boiled eggs and add that in.
- In a small bowl beat together an egg and the sour cream. Swirl the pot of boiling borscht and slowly pour in the egg mixture so it cooks immediately as it hits the soup.
- Turn off the heat and add in the chopped sorrel. Give everything a good stir and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
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