White Borscht


White Borscht

Part of Ep. 2003 The Artful Gardener: The Legacy of Jan Wos

Yield: Serves 6-8

Credit: Jan Wos


1 or 2 smoked pork hocks
6 quarts of water
1 jar of Agrosiik ZUR (purchase from Polish supply stores on-line or in Chicago), this is fermented rye flour paste.
2 packets dry soup mix, either Amino Barszcz biaty or Winiary Zurek (again available from Polish stores)

3 - 4 small onions, chopped
good Polish kielbasa, or bacon
3 - 4 cloves minced garlic
hard boiled eggs
bread bowls or small cooked fingerling potatoes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


Make a heavy flavored soup stock by simmering pork hocks in the 6 quarts of water for several hours or until meat is tender and pulls away easily with a fork.  Remove pork hocks, and  let stock cool.  Remove meat from the hocks and save to use later with the soup.  Skim fat from stock after it cools.

Take the jar of ZUR and pour into blender.  Re-fill the empty Zur jar with water twice and add to blender.  Blend to make smooth paste.  Add to the stock along with the two packets of dry         soup mix.  Stir and heat until boiling.  Add chopped onions, then gently simmer with the following options:

Finely chopped cooked bacon or sliced cooked kielbasa.

In either case, drain on paper towel before adding to the soup along with the shredded pork hock meat.  Simmer for about 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  About 10 minutes before serving add the minced garlic.

Jan preferred to serve this in bread bowls, or you can add small cooked fingerling potatoes instead when adding the meat.  At the table have a bowl of hard-boiled eggs, one per person, to add to the soup.


Funding for The Wisconsin Gardener is provided, in part, by The Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.


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