Polish Borscht

Other wise known as Bialy Barszcz or Easter Polish Sausage Soup

You either love it or hate it, there’s no middle ground. The ingredient list is based on approximations, you have to adjust to taste. But the crucial ratio that determines the final outcome is salt to vinegar. If they don’t seem in balance for your palate, you’ll need to adjust. Also, just an FYI: this soup will fill the house with aroma; a salty vinegar aroma, which says home to me, reminds my kids on a tradition they’d rather skip.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 oz white vinegar
  • 1.5 lbs polish sausage (you decide, but homemade is best)
  • 64 oz water
  • 16 oz dry milk with 8 oz water, or 12 oz whole milk, or 8 oz of heavy cream
  • For Plating
    • Sour cream (if you didn’t use heavy cream above)
    • hard boiled eggs cubed
    • Diced ham
    • 2-3 tsp horseradish

Process

  1. Put 64 oz of water in pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer the sausage about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove sausage for later use and retain the broth.
  3. Bring broth to a boil and add the vinegar and salt to the broth.
  4. Slowly add flour, whisking to remove lumps. If you can’t get all the lumps out, strain out and then press through the strainer back into the soup. If the soup seems to runny, add more flour. Should not be as thick as gravy or sauce, but not watery either; hows that for being explicit?
  5. Dissolve 2 cups of powdered milk in a cup of water and add to the broth. Or, can use 1.5 cups of whole milk or 1 cup of heavy cream, dealer’s choice. Make sure the broth does not boil after adding dairy. Only needs a few minutes to simmer once the dairy is added
  6. Plating: For each bowl, cube one or two hard boiled eggs. Dice ham and add to each bowl along with slices of the previously cooked sausage. Add 2-3 TBL of horseradish if your Polish, then fill bowl with broth. Some folks like to add cubes of rye bread, but that’s a personal choice.

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