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Barszcz (Polish beetroot soup)

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • Make the kwas 5 days in advance or it can be bought in any good eastern european delicatessan
  • Easy
  • Serves 8
A Polish classic, great hot in winter or cold in summer. For Teresah.....I hope you enjoy this one.
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Ingredients

FOR THE KWAS

  • 75g wholeleal rye flour
  • 600ml boiled, cooled water
  • 1/4 clove garlic

Rinse out an earthenware jar or any non-alluminium container with boiling water. (Note: the alluminium would react with the acidity of the kwas). Put the flour in the jar and mix to a liquid paste with a little of the water. Leave the mixture to settle for a few minutes and then pour on the remaining boiled water. Chop the garlic and add. Cover the jar with muslin or pierced clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 4 to 5 days to ferment. Strain and use as required. If stored in an airtight container, it will keep for a few weeks.

  • Rinse out an earthenware jar or any non-alluminium container with boiling water. (Note: the alluminium would react with the acidity of the kwas). Put the flour in the jar and mix to a liquid paste with a little of the water. Leave the mixture to settle for a few minutes and then pour on the remaining boiled water. Chop the garlic and add. Cover the jar with muslin or pierced clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 4 to 5 days to ferment. Strain and use as required. If stored in an airtight container, it will keep for a few weeks.

FOR THE SOUP

  • 2 litres of good beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 can mushrooms or 125g fresh halved
  • 3 uncooked med beetroot, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 300ml kwas
  • 1tsp sugar

Method

  • STEP 1
    Heat stock in a large pan. Add the onion, bouquet garni, mushrooms and beetroot. Boil for an hour
  • STEP 2
    Strain the soup and stir the kwas into the clear soup. Add sugar to taste and reheat if necessary without boiling. Serve and enjoy.
  • STEP 3
    You can add vegetables to the soup which is normally served during the Christmas Eve meatless dinner. Vegetables used are celery, carrot and parsnip, which are roughly chopped.

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