Yid.Dish: Borsht

By Michelle Arkow

Published April 06, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

One of the great things about Passover in Ukraine is that many of the dishes we normally eat are naturally kosher for Pesach. A prime example is borsht, perhaps the most well-known and beloved example of Ukrainian cuisine. Every Ukrainian woman has her own version and so I present to you my very own, one of a kind, borsht recipe.

JCarrot

You will need:

5 beets

5 potatoes, any variety

1 head of white cabbage

3 carrots

1/2 medium celery root

1 red pepper

1 white onion

3 cloves garlic

1 bunch parsley

5 bay leaves (optional)

pomegranate juice (or lemon and sugar)

salt and pepper

lots and lots of water

Begin by boiling the beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and celery root separately! This is very important and ensures that the vegetables maintain their flavor. Except for the beets, which require about 30-40 minutes to boil, each of the vegetables should take only 15-20 minutes. After they’re boiled, grate the vegetables and combine all the water into one large pot. Now finely chop red pepper, onion, garlic, and parsley.

Here you see all the ingredients laid out ready to be added. From left to right, bottom to top: potatoes; beets; cabbage; a mix of peppers, onions, garlic, and parsley; carrots; and celery root.

We’re ready to make the soup now. Traditional borsht recipes often call for a beef or sometimes chicken base, but I prefer vegetable stock. Among other advantages, by keeping your borsht meat-free, you can add sour cream to it when you eat it (and in Ukraine, it is unheard of to eat borsht without sour cream!). Bring all that water flavored with our vegetables to a boil, and then quickly put on low heat. Add the veggies and bay leaves and stir. You know how thick you like your soup. Add water until your borsht is the desired thickness. This should already be a huge amount of soup (see picture). Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

By now the soup should taste pretty solidly of our vegetables, and it’s time for my secret ingredient*. Add about 1/8 liter of pomegranate juice (keep stirring it in and tasting until it’s just right). If you don’t have pomegranate juice handy, or want to go with a more traditional recipe, add sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. Stir for another 5 minutes, and then add salt and pepper to taste.

Your borsht is already done, but as is the rule with soups, the longer you can leave it simmering, the better it will taste. When it’s finally done, Serve with a dab of sour cream. As for the rest, remove from heat and let cool completely before refrigerating.

Priatnovo apetita!


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.