08 April 2012

Polish Easter Soup

The other day as I was thumbing through a new issue of Saveur magazine I came across a recipe for Bialy Barszcz or Polish White Borscht. The soup is a traditional Polish Easter soup. Not sure if you know, but my maiden name is Mrogenski, which means I come from a Polish heritage. Unfortunately, through the years, a lot of that heritage has been lost. I am only a few generations removed from my Polish ancestors that came through Ellis Island to start their new life in America and yet I have had trouble retrieving information about how they lived and what they ate. I feel as if even more of that valuable information was lost with the passing of my great aunt Irene last year. For years she was the keeper of our heritage and was the only one willing to share stories from our past. To make a long story short, I saw the recipe and I immediately knew I wanted to try and make it for my family for Easter in hopes of starting a new tradition in my family.

After doing a little more research I learned that there are many different versions of this soup. There is a similar recipe for Zurek soup that is prepared with a Zur starter similar to that used in sourdough bread.  Although there are many different variations of the recipe the meaning and tradition of the soup is the same. Easter is a very important holiday in the Polish tradition. On Saturday night Polish families would set out their food to be blessed by the priest and the white borscht soup was the first meal eaten on Easter Sunday. The ingredients in the soup-kielbasa, horseradish, and eggs are representative of Jesus' sacrifice and rebirth.  The article I read in the Saveur magazine is a great story that was just so endearing. You can read the article and find the recipe here.

With the help of my amazing husband we were able to come together to put together this warm, comforting soup for my family. My husband and I both agreed that it would be a new Easter tradition in our home. I am hoping that through the years we can incorporate more of these traditions into our lives to teach our children the importance of heritage.

Preparing The Leeks

Washing The Leeks

Stirring and Waiting

Letting the Flavors Come Together

After We Pureed It
Adding the Keilbasa

The Finished Product!

I hope that all of you had a great Easter filled with love, family, and a few traditions of your own! 


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