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Authentic Ukrainian Green Borscht (VIDEO)

Updated: Apr 21

Delicious Green Borscht with eggs. Its a Luscious Spring/Summer Soup in Ukrainian cuisine. This traditional Ukrainian recipe your whole family will enjoy. A variety of greens, herbs, and eggs, it will make your lunch ready in 30 minutes. I love serving this soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, and crusty bread.

two bowls with soup and Dutch oven full of soup

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Due to the ongoing war and its negative impact on this tradition, Ukraine asked the Member States of the Committee to fast-track the examination of the nomination file for borscht to be inscribed on the List of Urgent Safeguarding as a case of extreme urgency, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Convention. The Committee approved this listing on July 2022. UNESCO put the last dot on for a long time argument about whose borscht it is.

Russia tried to claim it was theirs for the longest time. But no more.

pot with green borscht

Through many years, even prior to the war and a clear division between people, I lost many friends on Facebook, who couldn't accept my comments about borscht being Ukrainian.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard on this case and delivered to the committee 700 hundred pages of information about Borscht and culture of Ukraine and now it loudly can be said BORSCHT it is a NATIONAL UKRAINE DISH.

borscht big pot and 3 men and one women

Ukrainian borscht is part of a larger family of Slavic sour soups, including many kinds based on regions and seasons of the year. Borscht can be hot or cold, fortified with meat or simply full of seasonal, regional vegetables; as substantive as stew or as sheer and elegant as consommé.


WHAT ARGUMENTS ARE LEFT ABOUT BORSCHT?

Borscht is classic and controversial at the same time; it's all about resourcefulness - a meal that's cobbled together from whatever raw materials a cook has on hand. So it's bound to vary, and each version becomes a cook's tradition: similar but not the same as, someone else's.

"It's OK if yours is a little different, because I know mine is better". Ukrainians' stubborn pride in their individual approaches perseveres. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of versions of borscht.

Also try the cold months staple red borscht:

red borscht

As you know I was born and raised in Ukraine, a beautiful country where food is made with heart and everyone cooks from scratch. Staple meals such as Borscht were on our table several times a week.

My mom, when she comes to visit us, asks first thing if beets and beans are available to buy, and I know immediately what she would like to do with these ingredients. Being more then 3 days without borscht is a difficult task for her, and I'm not joking.

my mom and my boys at the table

This picture was taken in 2019, since then I have not seen my mom due to the COVID and now the on going WAR.


WHAT GREENS SHOUD BE USED FOR GREEN BORSCHT?

Traditionally, Green Borscht in Ukraine is cooked with Sorrel, in Ukrainian language called kva-sok. It's a tart leafy vegetable that is fairly easy to get in Ukraine during spring months. It looks like spinach and tastes similar to spinach, too, with an acid component.

sorrel

So I used spinach and lemon juice together to mimic sorrel flavor, plus I added many other greens that I had on hand that day. Such as kale, kohlrabi greens, celery leaves, and a bunch of herbs: dill and parsley.

bunch a different greens

Use your own combination....The idea of whatever first appears in your garden. Whatever first greens, edible of course, you can find after long winter months. In the past I had green borscht made with:

  • wild leek

  • nettle

  • sorrel

  • dandelion

Dutch oven with a green borscht

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT GREEN BORSCHT?

  • It's packed with vitamins.

  • It's easy on digestion.

  • It's a quicker to prepare-- unlike red borscht --it can be on your table in 30 minutes.

  • It's a very inexpensive but nutrients dense soup.

  • It's vegetarian, but you can make with meat --often people use meat with a bone to give more body for the soup.

  • And last but not least, it's simply delicious. 

That being said, there's nothing wrong with making this soup in fall or winter. It's delicious at any time of the year.


WHAT THE SECRET TO SUCCESS OF MAKING PERFECT GREEN BORSCHT?

  • Just like many soups, it is about a complexity of the flavor. That can be done by balancing flavor between sour-sweet-salty notes. Basically about umami flavor that we all like.

  • To judge on flavor or liking you have to taste your borscht the next day. Any kind of borscht is better the next day; it takes 2-3 days to fully marry all the flavors. Remember that.

  • Cooking borscht slowly, simmering vs boiling is the key to enrich with maximum flavors for any soup, remember that.

  • For deeper umami flavor I used dried shitake mushrooms; that gives more body to the vegetarian broth.

  • And last and not least to add more umami flavor I used the old fashion technique, that my grandmother used called Za-tir-ka. (I call Ukrainian miso, paste made out of: old sa-lo (pork back fat)+raw garlic +salt ). In this soup, since it's a vegetarian version, I used everything minus sa-lo: raw garlic and salt. This has to be pounded together into a paste and added at the very end of the cooking when the heat is off.

HOW TO SERVE GREEN BORSCHT?

Green borscht, just like a red borscht, is best to serve with fresh herbs, creme fraiche or sour cream and nice crusty bread.

Traditionally borscht is served with pampushky (it's bread buns enriched with garlic-dill sauce), or a nice slice of sourdough wheat or rye bread.


HOW TO STORE & REHEAT GREEN BORSCHT?

You can easily store the soup in the same pot you used to make it. Covered airtight. Properly stored, it will last for up to 5 days. Remember to always use a clean ladle when taking out individual portions to reheat.

To reheat it, you can easily reheat the whole pot or portions in a smaller pot on the stove-top over medium-low heat. Heat through just until reheated and stir often to distribute the heat.

You can also freeze half or all of the soup for later. Make sure to cool borscht completely before freezing. Portion it into individual freezer friendly containers or zip-top bags, or store it all together in a large container. Let as much air out as you can, seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw borscht slowly in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. 


Let's do it...


Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Author: Inna of innichkachef.com 

Serves: 4-6 people

ingredients for the soup

Ingredients for the green borscht:

4 cups greens (of your choice, look at the tip above)

1/2 lemon juice (if you use sorrel, you won't need lemon juice)

1 Lb. potatoes (any kind works here)

4-6 eggs (should be one egg per person)

1 large carrot

1 stalk of celery (optional)

1 large onion

3 caps of dried shitake mushrooms (or any kind of wild mushroom)

1 clove garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1-2 tablespoons butter


Ingredients for the serving:

4-6 dollops of creme fraiche or sour cream

4-6 slices of crusty good bread or pampushky

Few quail eggs (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill and parsley


Directions:

  • First chop half onion, and slice half carrot, and chop celery.

  • In a big pot, I used Dutch oven, add 8 cups water, then your chopped veggies. Add bay leaves and mushroom caps, and slowly bring to a boil, once its starts boiling, reduce heat to the minimum, cover and let vegetable broth simmer for 10-15 minutes.

  • To a pan add oil and butter, let it melt. then add the other half of onion finely chopped, shred other half of carrot. Add salt, pepper and sauté for few minutes, stir once in a while. Let it cook until onion looks translucive, not brown.

  • Chop potato into cubes and add to the pot with simmering broth. Add sautéed carrot/onion mixture, stir all together. Fish out the mushroom caps, chop it up and add back to the pot.

  • Cover and continue to simmer.

  • Boil eggs for few minutes, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes. The eggs should be semi-soft for the egg yolks. The uncooked -fully egg yolk will create a delicious luxury broth; your soup will look richer.

  • Chop your greens and add to the pot, follow with lemon juice.

  • Add chopped semisoft cooked eggs.

  • Use pestle and mortar, smash garlic clove with one teaspoon of salt (course salt would be ideal here, such as Celtic salt). Turn off heat, add your garlic paste, stir all together. Cover with lid and let all flavors blend together. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust to your liking, also, you may want to add more lemon juice. SERVE and ENJOY! Have you subscribed to my cooking channel? Go and click here to be the first to see my new videos and THANK YOU so much for subscribing. It means a lot to me!




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