Recipes > Soup > Polish, or Barscz Soup

Polish, or Barscz Soup


  • 15 or 20 red beets
  • about 1 pound of rye bread
  • 4 pounds of lean beef
  • 1 pound of smoked pork
  • 1/2 pound of ham
  • 4 onions
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 chickens, or 1 chicken and 1 rabbit, or 1 chicken and 1 duck


Peel and clean the beets, split them in two or four lengthwise, and put them in an earthen vessel with a pail of water and the rye bread; cover the vessel as air-tight as possible, and set it in a warm place (about 80 degrees Fahr.) for about eight days. After that time the liquor is rather sour, then drain.

Put in a saucepan the beef, smoked pork, ham, onions, leeks, and about four quarts of the liquor made as above. Simmer till the whole is done; skim off the scum that may gather on the surface, and then strain.

Roast till half done, the chickens; put them on the fire in a saucepan with the liquor strained from the beef, pork, etc., as described above. Boil gently about half an hour, strain the liquor again. Then cut the beef, smoked pork, and ham, in small dice, put the whole in the soup-dish, with the strained liquor, and serve warm, as soup.

The chicken, or chicken and rabbit, or chicken and duck, are generally served separately, with some of the beets used to make the liquor, and with the addition of mushrooms, parsley, celery, onions, and sausages, raw or cooked, according to taste; and salt, pepper, and spices, according to taste also.

The poorer classes make this soup with water instead of beet-juice, and very often with mutton instead of beef; but proceed as described above in every other particular.


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Hand-Book of Practical Cookery (1884).

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