Zurek, Barszcz Bialy, White Borscht
assembled from various sources
recipe is different in that it is based on a fermented rye meal stock.
The basic soup is called Zur,
meaning rye meal soup. From this base there are various types of Zur soup such as Meat Zur, Farmer’s Zur, etc. with
White Zur being our present interest. White Zur is also called White Borscht.
us outside of Eastern European traditions haven’t tasted this soup, your editor included. As of today, August 11, 2007 I have not made this
one, but by the end of August I will have – come back for a full taste report!
Fermented Rye meal
rye flour for each 2 cups of warm preboiled water The water is preboiled to remove any chlorine from modern water supplies.
Chlorine might kill the fermentation process.
crust from one slice of
In a scalded
crock or glass jar whisk the rye flour and water until lump free.
Add rye bread crust.
of container with cheese cloth and fasten with string or rubber band.
Put in warm 75 degree
F to 80 degree F place for 2 to 5 days or until the liquid is pleasantly tart. Taste every day. When it’s to your preference
of tartness we’ll go to the next step.
A comment about tasting: if you have never watched the fermentation
process – there will be froth on top that doesn’t look great – simply skim it off and then taste.
When it’s ready – your choice – strain through cheese cloth and pour the liquid into scalded jars or bottles
– cover and refrigerate. You aren’t trying to achieve a clear liquid – cloudy is good. That’s it!
Stock for Zurek White Borscht
About a half a pound (on the heavy side) of “chunked”
soup vegetables –
1 parsley root or parsnip root
2 celery stalks or equivalent
1 medium onion quartered or equivalent leek (white part of leek – you know the part about of washing
well between the leek layers)
8 cups boiling salted water
vegetables about one to two hours and strain, retaining the vegetable broth of course and discarding the vegetables which
have given up their goodness.
6 cups vegetable broth
(add water if needed to make six cups) Check if salt is needed.
One pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1 rounded Tablespoon
flour mixed with water to make loose paste
2 cups of the above fermented rye meal liquid
I clove of garlic
crushed with salt
1/2 pound sliced kielbasa
Quartered hard boiled eggs to garnish each bowl along chopped fresh
potatoes in vegetable broth until soft, approximately 30 minutes.
Mix in flour paste and
add to broth along with 2 cups of fermented rye meal. Shake the ferment before pouring from the bottle or jar to bring up
the sediment which is an important part of the taste.
Add sliced kielbasa and crushed garlic.
boil to thicken.
Offer quartered hard boiled eggs and chopped fresh dill for garnish.
I admit, I broke my rule. This has absolutely no beet roots and
I included anyway. It's very historical.
Fermented Rye can be purchased in specialty Polish food stores.
Let me know what
you think of this genuine Polish White Borscht soup!