Earlier this year, I had a series of conversations with my friend Nataliia about Ukrainian foods and borscht is one dish that came up on several occasions — both traditional borscht and Green Borscht, which I had never heard of. While I have always thought of borscht as a specific type of soup always made with beets, it turns out that borscht can take on different flavors and can be made from different ingredients.
Larousse Gastronomique, a culinary encyclopedia, defines borscht (borsch) as “a beetroot (beet) soup, eaten hot or cold” but also notes that there is a “green borsch made with sorrel, spinach and either loin of pork or oxtail.” In any case, this green borscht makes a wonderful hearty November meal, is a good source of vitamin A, and made using pork supplies around 16 grams of protein per serving.
I couldn’t find sorrel in my local markets, so I’ve made this with spinach. If you follow a vegetarian or plant-based eating pattern, you can substitute white beans for the pork.
Here is Nataliia’s recipe…
Green Borscht (serves 8 – 10)
- 3 potatoes
- 1 lb. pork ribs
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 bunches spinach, cleaned and loosely chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 5 hard-boiled eggs
- sprigs of fresh dill for garnish
1. Place potatoes (unpeeled) and pork ribs in large pot filled with water. Boil on medium-high for 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked and pork is done. Remove potatoes and pork from water and set aside to cool.
2. When potatoes are cool, peel and chop loosely. Chop pork into bite-size pieces.
3. Spray a clean large pan with canola oil and gently sauté onion, carrots and celery over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the spinach, potatoes and pork along with 8 cups of water.
5. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
6. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
7. Top with chopped hard-boiled eggs and fresh dill, if desired.
Nutrition Information: 180 calories; 7 grams fat; 2.5 gram saturated fat; 125 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 15 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 16 grams protein (values are approximate).