Sort through fresh porcini mushrooms, clean them well and wash under running water. Soak in slightly salted water for 2-3 hours. Leave small mushrooms whole, cut bigger ones into pieces. Cook mushrooms in salted water with peppercorns and bay leaves for 40 minutes.

Take mushrooms out of the broth and cut into thin strips. Strain the broth and save it for another dish.

Wash beetroots thoroughly and bake in the oven at 350 for 1 ½ hours. Cool beets down, peel and cut into thin strips.

Cut onions, carrots and parsley root into small cubes. Cut leeks into thin circles. Bring water to a boil and place your onions, carrots, parsley root and leeks to a pot. Cook for 10 minutes, then add cubed potatoes and boiled mushrooms and keep cooking for another 10 minutes.

Then add beetroot, ground black pepper, bay leaves and salt to taste. Add 1 cup of rye bread kwass, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Take 2 eggs, separate the yolk from white and mix yolk with sour cream really well. Add this mixture to borscht as soon as you remove it from heat.

When serving the borscht, add chopped parsley and minced garlic to every bowl.

You will need

For mushroom broth:   

  • Water – 4 cups
  • Fresh porcini mushrooms – 3 oz
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • Salt – 1 ½ teaspoon

For borscht:       

  • Water – 6 cups
  • Beetroot – 7 oz
  • 7 medium potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ parsley root
  • 1 yellow onion
  • ½ leek
  • Rye bread kwas – 1 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • Sour cream – 4 tablespoons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • Salt – to taste

To serve:         

  • Chopped parsley
  • Garlic – 2 cloves

Options:

1. You can boil beetroot instead of baking it. In this case, wash beetroot thoroughly, peel and place in a pot. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Take it out, cool and cut into thin strips. Add to borscht along with mushrooms and potatoes. Strain beetroot broth and add 1 cup of it to borscht. In this case, add 1 cup less water than the recipe calls for.

2. You can fry carrots, onions and parsley root with butter on a skillet before adding these vegetables to borscht. In this case, cube all your vegetables and fry with 4 tablespoons of butter on medium low heat. The veggies are done when onion becomes translucent. Add fried vegetables to borscht along with potatoes.

3. When you add baked beetroot to borscht you can also use beetroot juice. You need to shred the beets and then wring out the juice. Pour the juice into a small pot and bring to a boi. Strain the juice and add to borscht along with sour cream and egg yolk mix.

How to make rye bread brew (kwas)

To make rye bread brew, cut a day old rye bread into pieces and dry in the oven until it develops a little darker color.

Place the bread into a deep pot, cover with boiling water and leave to sit for 5 hours.

Add sugar and yeast to the mixture and leave in a warm dark place for 3 hours.

Transfer into glass bottles or jars and leave in a warm place for 2-3 days.

Strain and cool.

You will need:

  • Rye bread – 5 oz
  • Dry yeast – contents of 1 bag – ¼ oz
  • Water – 12 cups
  • Sugar – to taste