Borsch Kievsky is a classic, traditional Russian very hearty soup. It has a lot of ingredients, and does take some time to prepare. But when you finally set down at the table and take that first spoonful of real, authentic Russian Borsch Kievsky, trust me, you will surely feel the effort was well worth it.
Borsch Kievsky Recipe-
(serves 4 to 6)
For the Soup Stock-
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 lb. beef bone marrow
- 1 lb. meaty ham bone
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and grated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 3 quarts water
- 1 large turnip, peeled and grated
- 2 large celery stalks, rough bottoms trimmed away, sliced in half lengthwise and crosscut in half (with leaves left on)
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill weed*
- 4 sprigs of fresh parsley*
- 24 whole black peppercorns*
- 6 bay leaves*
For the Soup-
- 4 large red beets, peeled and grated
- 6 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
- 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, skinned and rough chopped
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise, and crosscut into 1” pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, de-seeded and rough chopped
- ¼ cup safflower oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- 6 tbsp. tomato paste
- 12 dried prunes, pitted and rough chopped
- 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
- 8 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 thick strips of bacon, crispy fried and crumbled into bits
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 6 tbsp. chopped fresh dill weed
- 2 green onions, finely chopped, for garnish
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, for garnish
- Place the last four stock ingredients (they are marked with *) in a small cloth bag. Tie the bag shut and put it into a very large stock cooking pot.
- Fill the pot with the water, and add in the meat, meat marrow, and ham bone, and bring the water up to a boil. Cook until the meat is becoming tender; as it boils, skim the froth off the top as necessary.
- Now add in all the remaining stock ingredients, reduce the heat to where your soup is cooking at just a lively simmer, put a lid on the pot, and simmer-cook for a full hour.
- While the Borsch is cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Clean the beets in fresh water, dry and peel them, then wrap them in tin or aluminum foil, then bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven, allow to cool to where you can handle them, and then dice them into ¼” cubes.
- Remove the ham bone, meat, and marrow bones from the stock, and set the marrow bones aside.
- Now strain the stock through a fine sieve into another, clean pot, and discard the solids.
- Bring the stock back up to a boil, and then add in the potatoes and tomatoes, with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, after reducing heat to where the stock is at just a lively simmer.
- Sauté the bell pepper, carrots, and onions in a skillet (preferably a bare cast-iron skillet) for 5 or 6 minutes, then stir in the cabbage and continue to cook the whole mixture for another 10 to 12 minutes.
- Take the skillet off the burner, and add the vegetables into the stock.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemons over the roasted beet cubes, and add them to the stock.
- Next add the honey, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the stock
- Cut the ham meat away from the bone and chop it into small bits, chop the beef into ½” cubes, and strip the marrow out of the marrow bones, then add add all of this to the stock and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Take the pot off the burner and serve immediately, with a bowl of Greek yogurt on the table to pass, for each person to garnish their helping as desired. As you fill each person’s bowl, garnish the top with a sprinkling of chopped green onions.
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