The foundation of barszcz is kwas, the sour liquid obtained from fermented beets, and good meat stock.



  • 8 medium red beets
  • 1 slice sour rye bread
  • 3 qts. lukewarm water


Wash and peel beets, cut into thick slices and place in a stone or earthenware jar. Cover with lukewarm water. The process of fermentation may be hastened by placing the rye bread in the jar. Cover the jar to protect it from dust and keep in warm place. When the kwas is sour, pour it off the beets into bottles, seal and keep in the refrigerator. Add to the meat stock sufficient kwas to give the desired sourness and let it just come to a boil. Overboiling or reheating fades the color. If the color is not beet red, grate a beet into a sieve and pour the soup through this into the tureen or soup bowls.

Barszcz is usually served in cups after the appetizers, together with small pasties, delicate sticks of flaky pastry. It is also served in soup plates with uszka—tiny squares of very thin noodle paste folded over a meat filling to form a triangle and the two ends pinched together.