Green Borscht is quick Ukrainian sorrel soup loaded with meat, potatoes and greens that we make during summer. It is a cousin of traditional borscht recipe and I think you will love this delicacy!
Green borscht is a favorite at our house! I grew up eating it all summer long because my grandma made it a lot. It is a classic Ukrainian recipe that gets made often!
And it was available only during summer because that’s the only time we had fresh vegetables.
We had root veggies like potatoes, carrots and beets year round, hence classic borscht recipes. But fresh produce like cucumbers, tomatoes and greens were available only in summer.
As soon as we moved into a bigger property and I got a garden, you bet I planted some sorrel!
What Is Sorrel Soup?
Sorrel soup is Ukrainian summer borscht made mostly with broth, sorrel leaves and veggies. It can be also called “sour soup” because sorrel leaves have unique acidic and sour taste.
My grandma liked to add fine pieces of pork fat. She would take “salo” which is pork fat and push it through the fine mesh sieve for small bits in every bite. I understand it is a very different experience but trust me, it’s delicious!
When you think of borscht you probably think of beet based red borscht soup but that’s the soup we eat very hot during colder months. In the summer months, every Ukrainian makes this delicious green borscht recipe.
And each of many Eastern European countries like Poland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine has their version of this iconic sour soup!
Can I Use Spinach Instead of Sorrel?
You sure can. Spinach soup will not be the same experience but pretty close. Add same amount of 6 cups fresh spinach and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to replicate that acidity sorrel borscht has. Also feel free to adjust as you go.
If you have a garden, next spring buy sorrel seeds and plant some. It is extremely easy to grow, low maintenance and hardy green you will enjoy for months to come!
Main ingredients include the following:
- Pork chops
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Salt and black pepper
How to Make Green Borscht
Making Ukrainian green borscht is so easy! Follow these simple steps and you will succeed:
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add pork and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes on low heat, while covered.
I do not recommend to trim any fat from pork as it will your own meat broth taste rich and so good. It truly reminds me of grandma’s borscht that way. A bit naughty but yet refreshing!
Like with any broth, if you want it to be clear use a fine mesh strainer to remove and discard the foam. It really makes the borscht more pretty and palatable.
Then add chopped onion, carrots and potatoes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. No need to saute anything, it’s a quick yet hearty soup!
About now you want to hard boil the eggs and let them cool. I personally prefer Instant Pot hard boiled eggs because they are always guaranteed to peel!
Then add roughly chopped fresh sorrel leaves and give them a minute to wilt. It may look like a lot of greens but they will shrink to almost nothing in a piping hot broth.
Then add the chopped hard boiled eggs, stir and serve. That’s it!
How Do You Serve It?
Traditional way to serve green borscht is hot with a generous spoonful of sour cream and a fresh slice of bread for a complete meal. If you have herbs like fresh dill, fresh parsley, green onions, or scallions, go ahead, chop them up and add to the pot or individual bowls.
You can also add slices of eggs to each individual bowl. That was my favorite part as a kid! I will let you on a secret, no matter how many eggs you cook, they all will be gone with this soup.
I think it’s one of the reasons my boys adore this soup so much!
If it is a hot summer day, you can also serve this soup chilled.
I do not recommend to freeze green borscht. It has potatoes, mushy greens, it just will not taste well once thawed.
Instead, to store soup for later just refrigerate it for up to 1 week. Just like any borscht, it just gets better with time as all flavors marinate with each other. I can guarantee you it won’t last a week in your fridge!
Yes. You can buy chopped sorrel in a can or a jar in many ethnic Polish, Ukrainian or Russian stores. Add amount by heaping spoonfuls to taste and keep in mind that it has a lot of added salt to preserve it. So, you might want to salt your soup at the very end.
I also do not recommend to use dried sorrel as it has very distinct bitter taste. It is not my favorite and I love this green sorrel borscht!
Yes. Just use vegetable stock instead of water and skip pork. Borscht will be just as delicious!
No. Dutch oven is just my favorite to cook in. You can use any large pot. It makes a lot and you want it all!
Yes. I have made it numerous times with bacon and chicken breasts.
A Few More Slavic Soup Recipes
Green Borscht (Sorrel Soup)
- In a large pot, add water and pork. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, removing the foam with mesh strainer a few times.
- Add onion, carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. In a separate pot, hard boil the eggs.
- Add sorrel, let wilt for a minute. Add the eggs and stir gently.
- Serve hot with a generous dollop of sour cream, more chopped eggs and a slice of bread.
- Store: I do not recommend to freeze the soup. Instead, refrigerate it for up to 1 week. It just gets better with time.
- Sorrel substitute: Use 6 cups of fresh baby spinach and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
- Jarred sorrel: Add by heaping tablespoons to taste and salt soup at the end.