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Borscht with Rye Grains recipe

Borscht with Rye Grains recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Root vegetable soup
  • Borscht

This is a delicious take on the classic Eastern European soup. Enjoy with a dollop of soured cream.

9 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 170g dry whole rye grains
  • 475ml water
  • 300g dry cannellini beans
  • 1 small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 4 beetroots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 950g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 litres water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr30min ›Ready in:3hr

  1. Place the rye berries and 475ml water in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place cannellini beans in another pot with enough water to cover, bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour, until tender; drain.
  3. In a large pot, mix the cooked rye, beans, cabbage, onion, celery, beetroots, carrot, potato, garlic and tomatoes. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice and honey and season with salt and pepper during the cook time.


Whole rye grain are also known as rye berries. You can purchase them in speciality shops or online.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(10)

Reviews in English (8)

by sueb

Comfort food! I subbed pinto beans for the others, so I cooked those with the rye berries. It wasn't until I was enjoying my serving that I realized I had forgotten to add the cabbage! I'll put it in when I reheat this delightful soup! Thanks for the recipe!-02 Mar 2009

by Pitterpat

I followed your directions, except added canned white northern beans with the vegetables, instead of the cannellini beans. (The dry beans probably would have been better if I had them.) We never had borscht before. It was pretty good, but I expect it is an acquired taste. We'll have plenty of opportunity to find out, as it made enough to last us for a couple of weeks. There are just 2 of us. Anyway, thanks for the recipe. It was fun trying something different. Mar. 14 update: I put some of this in freezer containers and saved. My husband and I happily did acquire a taste for it, and now we love it. Just had some for lunch today, and my hubby asked, is that all? There wasn't enough left for seconds. Have to increase the rating to 5 stars. Congratulations for a distinctly unique and very delicious recipe! Now I have another good use for all my rye berries.-16 Feb 2011

by jenjenn711

It was a lot of work compared to how we usually cook, but turned out good! Great way to use rye berries, which is why I tried it. We didn't use exact amounts--some extra here and there, like with the tomatoes--and it made a huge pot! We are going to have a lot to freeze for later. Thanks for the recipe!-09 Jun 2011

Instant Pot Borscht

Instant Pot Borscht is my Ukrainian grandma’s borscht recipe adapted for a pressure cooker. Serve this hearty cabbage and beet soup with lots of dill, garlic and sour cream. So good!

Ingredients for the Family Meal

Not every basket has to contain all of these items, but the important things is that every family member has a bite of blessed food from the basket.

So, Polish mothers typically include foods that they will be using at Easter breakfast or dinner, and a few daily staples.

You will notice that a few of the basket items appear in this soup:

It&rsquos almost as if this soup was designed to be a soup made from the blessed ingredients!

Ingredients in white borscht do vary greatly by region and family.

With meats ranging from Polish sausage, to ham and bacon and add ins including sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar and sugar.

The two elements that do not change are the sausage-water base and some type of sour (kwas) used to flavor the soup.


As I am writing this the television is going in the background with screaming crowds and screeching announcers from Sochi, Russia. The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are in full force and Don has been glued to the television as often as possible. Right now the luge is going and there is such excitement. Our favorite is the ice figure skating and ice dancing. It is so graceful and beautiful! I hate to see one take a fall on the ice but they jump right up like it never happened.

So, in light of the Sochi Olympic games, I thought a borscht soup would be in order. Borscht soup actually originated in Ukraine but it is popular throughout Eastern Europe with many variations.

It can be served hot or cold, with or without meat. In Sochi, Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics over 70,000 gallons of this bright, ruby red soup is being served.

Last summer I planted a short row of beet seeds and I later discovered that I did not plant enough. When they grew to about the size of a golf ball I began pulling them up and cooking them.

Beets have a natural sweetness to them and I like them prepared so that they still have a little crunch to them. I have roasted some and used them in salads, sautéed them in butter and, just like my mom used to do when I was growing up I made some beet pickles.

Mom would always add peeled hard-boiled eggs to the bright red liquid in the pickle jar after the pickles had been eaten. As I said, I did not plant enough and by the time I had harvested to the end of the short row they had grown to about the size of a tennis ball.

I know that the greens are supposed to be tasty and full of nutrition but after trying them once I just have not been excited enough to try them again. This year I will plant a couple rows of beets. The produce guy at the market told me that beets keep for about a month if you just wipe the dirt off but not wash them and wrap each one in a paper towel and store them in the refrigerator.

And now, from Russia with Love&hellip.I give you borscht soup, a ruby-red soup with beets as the main ingredient which gives the soup its distinctive color.

Borscht is the highlight of a Russian meal and the secret to a great borscht is in the homemade stock and by using fresh beets. A good chunk of dark rye bread will be perfect with this soup!

This recipe has been adapted from the Foods and Cooking of Russia and Poland by, Elena Makhonko and Ewa Michalik.


Traditional vegetable beet soup with a beef base. Rich red color and delicious taste!


  • 2 or 3 meaty beef bones
  • 6 – 8 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 cups tomato juice or a large can of tomatoes, broken up
  • 6 – 8 tsp beef oxo (or Better than Boullion beef flavour)
  • 1 sprig fresh dill or 1 tsp dill weed
  • Mrs. Dash herb medley to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups EACH of diced:
  • onion
  • celery
  • beans (green or yellow)
  • cabbage
  • beets
  • carrots
  • potatoes

1) In bottom of large, heavy stock pot, brown beef bones in a bit of oil till brown on both sides. (Alternatively, you can brown the bones in a 500 degree F oven till browned. This works better for bones with little meat on them. If those are the kind of bones you have, you will need some additional stew beef besides the bones.)

2) Pour water over the bones till they are covered. Add the onion, Bring to a boil, then turn down low and simmer for several hours.

3) Once cool enough to handle, strain the soup, and set broth in the fridge overnight. Pick the meat off the bones, dice the meat. Set meat aside in the fridge overnight. Discard the onions and bones.

4) Next day, scoop the congealed fat off the top of the broth and discard. Pour the broth into a large soup pot. Add tomatoes, meat and all the diced vegetables. Add the oxo and the dill, about 1 tsp of salt, and about 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 1 hour. Taste, add the Mrs. Dash, and any additional seasoning you think it needs.

5) Recommended to serve in large bowls with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Buttermilk or plain yogurt is also good added just before eating if you don’t have any sour cream.

Rye/Wheat Beer Recipe

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast #1010
Yeast Starter: 2500ml
Batch Size (Gallons): 12
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 15.4
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 5.1
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 days @ 68 F
Tasting Notes: Plan to brew this weekend 4/2/11.

Recipe: Rye you got a problem with Wheat Beers?
Brewer: Turning Gear Brewery
Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 12.00 gal
Boil Size: 14.84 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 15.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.00 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
8.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 33.33 %
2.00 lb Rye Malt (Briess) (3.7 SRM) Grain 8.33 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.25 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 2.08 %
1.50 oz Mt. Hood [5.20 %] (60 min) Hops 11.6 IBU
1.50 oz Williamette [5.20 %] (10 min) Hops 3.8 IBU
2 Pkgs American Wheat Ale (Wyeast Labs #1010)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Fly Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 24.00 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Fly Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 30.00 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F

So, after reading a little bit of Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beers", I decided I'd try my hand at making a good summer American Wheat beer that incorporates Rye in the mash.

I plan on brewing this on 4/2/11 using my Brutus stand, but wanted to post it here for a little critiquing before hand.

To the explain the name of the brew a little, my father hates wheat beers. I was attempting to make a wheat beer that lacked the common weissen characteristics that he doesn't like hence the name.

Contrary to the popular opinion (also among Polish people), it’s really easy to make! Prep time is literally 5 minutes and then you just have to let it ferment for 5 days and stir it once a day. It will give your soup an unique flavor! Think, why does sourdough bread taste so good? Also, thanks to the sourdough starter.

  • Water – boiled and cooled.
  • Rye flour – it has a nutty flavor that distinguishes it from wheat flour. Use medium or dark rye flour for this recipe (I used medium rye flour). Different rye flours are determined by how much of the rye kernel is present. The more rye kernel there is, the darker the flour – this also means a more intense rye flavor in your rye starter. In white rye flour, the bran and germ are completely removed, so its flavor is too mild for this recipe.
  • Some seasonings – fresh garlic, dried mushrooms, allspice berries, black peppercorns, bay leaves.

How to make it step by step:

STEP 1: Clean a large jar with soap water then scald it with boiling water (it’s not completely necessary but it prevents from growing unwanted bacteria species). Fill the jar with 3 cups of boiled and cooled water.

STEP 2: Slowly add flour to the jar, stirring constantly with a spoon until combined (your spoon should be very clean or scalded).

What to do if there are lumps: stir it a little bit longer but if it doesn’t help, take out large lumps and leave small ones, they will dissolve the next day.

STEP 3: Add all the spices and cut in half garlic cloves, stir again.

STEP 4: Close the jar and leave it in a dry place at room temperature (72-75°F / 22-24°C), it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Open the jar once a day to release gases and stir the liquid with a very clean or scalded spoon.

The rye starter should be ready after 5 days. It should have a pleasant acidic smell and taste. It tastes more sour with each day, but don’t leave it longer than 7 days. When it’s ready, strain the spices, and pour the liquid and flour into a small pot, cover it with plastic foil, and put in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You will need the liquid and flour for the soup, discard all the spices.

The photo on the left: this is how your rye starter will look like after a day – there will be foam/bubbles on top, which is a sign of bacteria activity. Photo in the middle – this is how it looks like when the flour sinks at the bottom of the jar. The photo on the right: this is how the starter looks like when you stir it with a spoon.

How to accelerate the process: You can add 2-3 tablespoons of active sourdough (bread) starter or water from the cucumbers in brine (not pickles with vinegar, just naturally fermented cucumbers) or liquid from the sauerkraut (only naturally fermented sauerkraut, not with vinegar added) or a small piece of good-quality sourdough rye bread (but there is a bigger chance that your sour rye starter will go bad, I personally try to avoid this, try this only if you’re in hurry). If you add one of these ingredients, the sour rye starter can be ready after about 3 days.


Catherine Atkinson's barszcz. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

As we've seen, borscht recipes range from very simple beetroot broths to elaborate preparations involving beans, potatoes and all sorts. I prefer the recipes which, like Lindsay Bareham's, use potato to give the soup body it seems to soak up the flavour better than Lesley Chamberlain's white beans. I also approve of Lindsay's use of cabbage, which not only gives the soup a bit of colour, but, to my mind, adds an air of Eastern Bloc authenticity to proceedings.

Sweet, earthy parsnips, as suggested in some recipes, are too much with the beetroot, and one has to be careful not to overload the dish with carrots for the same reason – using leeks and celery makes for a more interesting bowl of soup. Many recipes use tomatoes (in fact, Lesley Chamberlain puts in a whole large tin, which robs her soup of its vibrant pink colour), but I notice the older ones tend not to, and, on reflection I don't think the dish gains much from these defiantly summery fruits.

Borscht Recipes

First: English is not my primary language and I don't know all the English vegetables names so I put the Scientific name in Wikipedia and I take the common English name from there. I will put some pictures of the ingredients also for you to see exactly what plants I'm talking about.

  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Liter of Borscht (prepared as explained in my first post)
  • 1 Liter of water
  • some green (parsley leafs, celery leafs, dill, garden orache)
  • 1 small branch of Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
  • salt

Clean the vegetables, cut them in small pieces (except the potatoes) and put them in a pot with hot water and a little salt. Let them boil on a small fire. When the vegetable are half boiled put over the potatoes peeled and cut in pieces. Let them continue to boil on small fire. When they are almost ready (boiled) put the green cut in small pieces and the branch of lovage. Let everything boil a little longer. Put some Borscht to give the soar taste (as much as you like, try it to see if it is to soar) and let everything boil a little more. Lake away the lovage branch. At the table you can serve it with some cream.
Next The Moldavian Chicken Borscht Recipes.

Making Traditional Borscht - The Main Ingredient

No matter what kind of borscht recipe you want to prepare Romanian, Ukrainian, or Russian borscht, hot or cold borscht, beef borscht or vegetarian borscht, you will need the "magic" ingredient: BORSCHT ( from this ingredient derive the name of the food: borscht ), the ingredient that give this kind of soup its sour taste.
In restaurants or in some European countries this ingredient is not used and they use instead green lemon to give the food the sour taste. But you want the best for your table so here it is, the recipe for the famous "secret" ingredient from Borscht, the Borscht itself:

  • 1 Kg (2,2 Pound) of wheat bran
  • 300 gram (0,66 Pound) of corn bran
  • 8 liter of boiled water
  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 20 gram (0,044 Pound) of yeast (fresh not dried)


I was amassed to see that in the last day or so it is a high trend on the Internet about Borscht . Well, I'm a Romanian (from Romania in Eastern Europe) and Borscht is one of our traditional food. If there is a high interest on Borscht why not tell you all about it? First: my grandmother make THE BEST BORSCHT EVER. you don't believe me? I'll prove it to you! In this blog I will take you step by step from making the main ingredient (witch is traditional and you will not find it in any restaurant) to some traditional recipes from my grand mother.

First, about Borscht , in Wikipedia you will find this:
Borscht (also borsht, barszcz or borshch ) is a soup that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. It is made with beetroot as a main ingredient which gives it a strong red color. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and the green (zelioni) borscht (sorrel soup).
The soup is a staple part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations.
It made its way into North American cuisine and English vernacular by way of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and other immigrants. Alternative spellings are borshch and borsch.
It is called in various languages: Czech: boršč, Estonian: borš, Lithuanian: barščiai, Polish: barszcz, Romanian: borș, Russian and Ukrainian: борщ, borshch, Yiddish: בארשט, borscht .
The name was earlier applied to hogweed soup, and originally to the plant hogweed.

The word borş is used in Romanian to refer to a kind of sour soup made from fermented wheat bran, which is an important part of Romanian cuisine. To refer to the traditional borscht made from beetroot, Romanians generally say borş rusesc ( Russian borscht ) or borş de sfeclă ( beetroot borscht )”
The traditional Romanian Borscht and the Russian Borscht Type are called in US Hot Borscht .
In general it is known that this food was brought in Europe by Russian riders centuries ago and it has small variations depending on the culture that adopted it.
It is a very good food for vegetarians (no meat borscht) and it is a very good type of food for fat loss diets (not the drastic no carb diets)
So let us begin, fallow the next posts of this blog to learn my grandmother recipes Romanian and Russian borscht.

Polish White Borscht on Pork Ribs and Fermented Wheat Starter

This Polish White Borscht delivers everything you want in a warm Easter soup. It’s a velvety, meaty stock laced with root veggies, horseradish, marjoram, and chunks of tender white kiełbasa sausage.


  • 1.1 lb (500 g) pork rib
  • 2 medium carrots (roughly 4.2 oz, 120g)
  • 2 parsley roots (roughly 4.2 oz, 120g) - can be substituted for a celery root
  • 1 piece (roughly 4.2 oz, 120g) celery root
  • 1 leek (5 oz, 140 g) - just the white part
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 all-spice berries
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp grated horseradish
  • 5 oz (140 g) uncut smoked bacon
  • 4 links (500g, 1.1 lb) white kiełbasa sausage (fresh, raw, uncooked)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 ¼ cups (500ml) Sour Wheat Flour Starter (link to a recipe in the notes)
  • 2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 8 oz (225 ml) thick sour cream 18%
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs
  • A few twigs of fresh marjoram, to garnish


[Before you start]

Making Sour Wheat Flour Starter at home is very easy, but it takes 5 days to ferment. You&rsquoll have to do that in advance.

The recipe for a Wheat Flour Starter is exactly the same as the Rye Starter outlined here. Just replace rye flour with whole wheat flour - everything else remains the same.

Once you have your Wheat Starter ready, continue with the recipe:

  1. Grab a large cooking pot, 4-5 quart / litres should be enough. Place just over a pound (around 500 grams) of pork ribs inside.
  2. Pour in just over 2 quarts (2 litres) of cold water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. While that&rsquos cooking, peel the vegetables: 2 carrots, 2 parsley roots, a piece of celery root. Chop into chunky pieces.
  4. Grab a leek, remove the dirty outer leaves.
  5. Wash all the veggies under the running water and set them aside.
  6. Once the 30 minutes are up, add chopped vegetables to the pot. Add the spices: 3 all-spice berries, 2 bay leaves, 5 black peppercorns.
  7. Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat to low and cook undercover for another hour.
  8. After that time, peel a garlic clove and smash it with a side of a knife. Add to the pot.
  9. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of grated horseradish. This can be from a jar or freshly grated - whatever you have available.
  10. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Grab another pot and place a strainer over it. Pour our soup through it. Don&rsquot throw the veggies and meat away! Keep them on the side for now.
  11. Grab a piece of smoked bacon. If it has a tough skin, cut it off. Cut the meat into cubes, roughly quarter of an inch (5-6 mm) in size.
  12. Heat up 1 teaspoon of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of butter. Add chopped bacon. Fry for 5-7 minutes, until the meat cubes turn lightly golden. Add it to the soup.
  13. Grab 4 white kiełbasa links, poke them with a toothpick in a few places. Add them to the pot and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
  14. Add 1⅓ cup (300ml) of sour wheat starter for a milder Barszcz, up to 2 cups (or more roughly 500ml) for a sharper result. If you&rsquore not sure how much to add, pour it over gradually, tasting along the way.


The recipe for a Wheat Flour Starter is exactly the same as the Rye Starter here. Just replace rye flour with whole wheat flour - everything else remains the same.