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Borscht

What Is Borscht? Discover 5 Different Types of Borscht

Borscht, a traditional Eastern European soup, reflects the region's culinary creativity and skill. This traditional soup boasts vibrant colors and complex flavors and is a testament to the culinary creativity and skill of those from Ukraine. In this article, we will explore the world of different types of borscht and uncover the secrets behind this iconic Ukrainian dish.

What is Borscht?

Borscht is a sour soup made with meat, vegetables, and seasonings, commonly enjoyed in Eastern Europe, and Northern Asia and has become popular worldwide. The name "borscht" is often closely tied to the Ukrainian variant, which features red beets that give the dish its iconic red color. Borscht is a versatile soup that can be adapted to other seasons, regions, and personal preferences.

Veselka offers a variety of borscht with rich and layered tastes made from beef, pork, red beets, cabbage, potatoes, and lima beans like red borscht, meat borscht, or vegan borscht. Each variety pays homage to Ukrainian culinary traditions and caters to diverse dietary preferences.

What Are The Different Types of Borscht?

There are many variations of borscht, differing in color, flavor, and texture. We will take a closer look at the different types of borscht that you can enjoy.

Red Borscht

Red borscht is a popular soup made by simmering beef or pork, beetroot, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic in a flavorful broth. This is the most iconic and well-known type of borscht.

At Veselka, you can choose from two versions of red borscht, Vegetarian borscht or Ukrainian Meat Borscht. Both versions of borscht contain fresh beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, dill, beans, and potatoes. The vegetarian borscht uses a touch of lemon as well as vegetable-based stock. Our Ukrainian meat borscht contains pork as well as beef stock. 

Both soups are served hot with a dollop of sour cream, making them perfect for a chilly day.

White Borscht

White Borscht is a traditional Polish soup commonly eaten on Easter Sunday. It is made with ingredients from the Easter basket that families take to church to have blessed on Holy Saturday. White Borscht can be prepared with either fermented rye flour or sour cream. At Veselka, we opt to use sauerkraut juice to give the borscht that sour, tangy flavor. 

Besides the fermented rye flour or sour cream, white borscht can also be made with potatoes, sausage, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, garlic, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Combining these ingredients creates a rich and flavorful soup. White borscht is usually served hot and goes well with bread or boiled potatoes.

Cold Borscht

Cold borscht is a sweet soup composed of boiled beets, cucumber, sugar, white vinegar, and other ingredients like buttermilk to provide a tangy and creamy touch.

At Veselka, you can enjoy a bowl of cold borscht made with fresh ingredients and authentic recipes. The soup is served chilled and can be accompanied by a dollop of sour cream for a delicious and satisfying meal. 

Cold borscht is a seasonal, refreshing, and light soup that is perfect for the summer months and a great way to cool down or nourish your body on a hot day.

Sorrel Borscht

Sorrel borscht is a flavorful green soup made with sorrel leaves that have a lemony and slightly bitter taste. The soup also contains chicken or vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, eggs, sour cream (smetana), salt, pepper, and fresh herbs such as dill or parsley. Combining these ingredients creates a rich and flavorful soup that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Vegan Borscht

Vegan borscht is a plant-based variant of the traditional borscht soup, which replaces meat with various vegetables and herbs. The soup is known for its striking red color, which comes from the beets that also add a sweet flavor to the dish.

The vegan borscht is made with a base of vegetable stock, which includes ingredients like water, potato flour, caramel color, yeast extract, and spices. This base combines red beets, cabbage, lima beans, celery, and carrots. The soup is seasoned with distilled white vinegar, salt, and ground black pepper.

Vegan borscht soup can be enjoyed either hot or cold, making it a suitable dish for any time of the year.

Side Dishes To Serve With Borscht:

Borscht can be a meal on its own, but it can also be paired with various side dishes to make it a more filling and satisfying experience. Here are some of the common side dishes that go well with borscht:

  • Bread: Bread is a staple food that goes well with any borscht. You can choose from different breads, such as rye, wheat, pumpernickel, or garlic rolls. Bread can be used to dip into the soup or to make sandwiches with the meat or cheese from the soup.
  • Pierogi: For an authentic Eastern European experience, complement your borscht with our Cheese Pierogi and Potato Pierogi. These traditional dumplings pair perfectly with the soup, creating a comforting and culturally rich meal.
  • Salads: Borscht is a great meal by itself, but it also goes well with a light salad, which can make it even better. We offer carefully curated seasonal salads to enhance your borscht experience. Our Peach Salad features summer peaches and honey vinaigrette, while the Lentil Salad is topped with feta and creamy dill vinaigrette. For those who want to stay on theme, our Ukrainian Beet and Horseradish Salad is a perfect match, echoing borscht's key ingredient.

It’s Time To Eat!

Borscht is not just a soup; it's a unique dish of Eastern European culture and history, especially Ukraine, filled with flavors that tell a story of tradition and family. Indulge in authentic recipes from Veselka's cookbook, exploring the different types of borscht. Whether you decide to whip up a pot of borscht in your kitchen or venture to Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in New York City, for an authentic taste, your taste buds are in for a treat. Let's raise our spoons to borscht, the culinary gem of Eastern Europe!

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