Polish White Borscht Soup (Bialy Barszcz) Recipe

A bowl of Polish white borscht
Dobromila/Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA-4.0,3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings White Borscht
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
623 Calories
37g Fat
37g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings White Borscht
Amount per serving
Calories 623
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 328mg 109%
Sodium 643mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 35g
Calcium 204mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

White borscht soup -- Polish biały barszcz or żurek wielkanocny -- is typically eaten on Easter Sunday morning and is made with most of the foods from the swięconka basket blessed on Holy Saturday.

The soup ingredients vary by family and region. I make it with sour cream and smoked and fresh white Polish sausage. Others use buttermilk and ham, and my sister-in-law skips the sausage and adds bacon, sauteed onions, vinegar, and sugar. What remains constant is the sausage water base and some type of sour known as żur or kwas as in this traditional żurek recipe from Poland.


  • 6 cups sausage cooking water, fat removed
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 link white Polish kiełbasa sausage, casing removed, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1 link smoked Polish kiełbasa sausage, casing removed, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks and boiled
  • 6 hard-cooked sliced eggs
  • 6 slices light or dark rye bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add sausage water and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes.

  2. Fork-blend the flour and sour cream. Temper the sour cream with a little hot sausage water, then return to pot, stirring until thickened. Add sausages, potatoes, and eggs to pot and heat until warmed through. Season to taste. At this point, some people add a pinch of sugar or a tablespoon of vinegar. The soup should have a pleasantly sour taste.

  3. Into 6 heated bowls, tear rye bread into bite-sized pieces. Ladle hot soup over bread.