Several years ago I had a series of conversations with my friend Nataliia about Ukrainian foods. Borscht is one dish that came up on several occasions — both traditional style and this version, Green Borscht. I had never heard of this version of borscht. I have always thought of it as a specific type of soup always made with beets. It turns out that borscht can take on different flavors and be made from different ingredients.
What is borscht?
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 winter meal, and is a good source of vitamin A . If you make it with pork, a serving supplies around 16 grams of protein.
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…