Authentic Moldovan Borsch {Recipe}

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This is one of my favorite meals my mother and grandmother made when I was a child and although I don't consider myself a very good cook (ok...ok...just being modest here), I can say I've mastered the Borsch. It's somewhat of a common eastern European soup, originally from Ukraine, that varies from one country to another (even one family to another), but of course I like the Moldovan one best. I've made this for many a gathering and the recipe has often been requested, and even begged for. You know who you are. Don't say I didn't share.

I think it's a pretty simple recipe, but it can take awhile because of all the vegetable grating and chopping. If you have a food processor with a chopping setting (which I don't...sniff...sniff), it will significantly cut down the amount of prep work involved. All ingredients can be found in your grocery store.

Difficulty: medium
Prep time:  25 min
Cooking time: 40 min


2 (medium)
White or yellow. You can also use leeks, or both. Diced.
2 (large)
Bell Peppers
2 (medium)
I like to use red ones and just dice them
2 (large)
peeled and grated
1 head
Tomato sauce
2 cans 8oz
it tastes even better if you make your own by peeling and blending tomatoes
3 (large)
3 tbsp
I use Sunflower Seed oil in all my cooking
Stew pork
1 pound
you can use chicken too or meatless
Bay Leaves
I add them with the meat and remove them before any vegetables are added
Lemon Juice
4 or 5 tbs
don't use lime juice
15 cups
to boil the meat in. Or use half water, half meat or vegetable stock/broth
Salt and pepper to taste 
Sour cream and chopped fresh parsley
 1 tbs each
For garnishing and optional

step by step

Step 1: Wash the meat, remove any unwanted fat and cube in bite size pieces. Fill up a tall pot with water (about 15 cups), place the meat in it, grind black pepper and add a couple of bay leaves. Boil on high to a rolling boil. An important step not to forget is to remove the foam that forms when the meat begins to boil. Turn to a medium heat and cover with a lid.

Step 2: While the meat is boiling: peel your carrots, onions and beets. Grate the carrots and beets. Dice the onions and peppers.

Step 3: Wash, peel and cube potatoes

Step 4: Remove the outer layers of the cabbage. Cut in half and then shred/julienne starting from the middle, as pictured.

Step 5: Saute vegetables. First add the onions, then the carrots and then the peppers.

Once onions are translucent add the beets and let cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and turn down the heat. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove from heat.

Step 6: Once the meat is cooked, remove the bay leaves and add the potatoes. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes. When almost done, add the cabbage. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 7: Add the vegetable mixture, lemon juice and salt to taste. Cook on low for another 10 minutes. (You can go longer if you have the time.)

My husband likes it served with a tsp of sour cream, but I like it as is. In my opinion it tastes best with sour-dough bread. 

My 4 year old is not very adventurous when it comes to food, but she absolutely loves this one. It tastes even better on the second day, as all the ingredients have time to marry together pretty well. 

We even have a joke in Moldova about this:
"Do you like a day old Brosch?"
"Then come over tomorrow!"

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  1. At our house we call this "Iuliana Soup." The only problem is that there is never enough left over. Because of this I have to hide the leftovers in the back of the fridge so I don't have to share.

  2. My children also like this borsh :)) Amazing that children find it so tasty that they would it it every week :) I'm a little lazy and make ones in fortnight :)
    In my recipe I don't put cabbage, but at the end add a tin of beans :)


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