Ukrainian Green Borsch (Zelany Borshch) Sorrel Soup




2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sm. rib celery, chopped
1 md. size onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1 sm. parsnip chopped (optional)
1 carrot chopped
4 to 5 cups chicken stock , beef broth or
canned broth
2 md. boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. chopped dill
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
7 cups chopped sorrel (or 4 cups sorrel and 3 cups spinach)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream or
sweet cream for garnish
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped finely for garnish (optional)
Dill for garnish


Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the celery and onion, carrot, parsnip if using and sauté, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Add the scallions and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the stock to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Bring the soup to a boil. Add the chopped sorrel (sorrel and spinach if using)dill and parsly and cook until wilted, 3 minutes if using fresh and 10 minutes or so if using frozen. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in soup bowls and garnish with chopped eggs if you wish and a dollop of sour cream or sweet cream and more chopped dill. Serves 4.

Variation: When you add the potatoes don’t dice them just cut them in half. When they are tender remove with a slotted spoon, and set them aside. Bring the soup to a boil Add the sorrel, dill and parsly and cook till wilted. Remove from heat and add the salt and pepper.

Working in batches, process the soup in a food processor until the sorrel and spinach are finely minced. Transfer the soup to a tureen and stir in 1/2 cup of heavy or whipping cream. Cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Dice the reserved potatoes and add them to the soup right before serving. Serve each soup portion garnished with 1 or 2 slices of egg and sour cream.

Author's Comments

I grow this wonderful sour herb in my garden. You can buy seeds and plant in your garden and they will come up every year. I always freeze bags of sorrel for the winter because my son loves this soup. Pick the leaves, wash well a few times and chop and put in containers or freezer bags. When you are ready just pop them in the soup from frozen state.

If you don’t have enough sorrel use 4 cups tightly packed chopped sorrel and 3 cups tightly packed chopped spinach or Swiss chard and juice of one lime. Adjust the sorrel to your taste. If you like it less sour then by all means use less or combine it with spinach or Swiss chard.

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