White borscht soup — Polish bialy barszcz – is eaten for breakfast on Easter morning. It is usually served with small open face sandwiches assembled like little hors d’oeuvres. A small piece of rye bread is the base, then topped with either a slice of sausage or ham, a slice of boiled egg is next and then fresh horseradish is scraped on top. Before eating, they are used in a toast to family members wishing all good luck and health throughout the next year.
As a kid, it took some time to acquire a taste for the borscht and also to warm up to the idea of eating soup for breakfast. But as everything else ages, so does the palate. I really look forward to it every year. It brings back memories of my family who is now spread across the country. I feel it is important to keep the tradition going so my daughter will know where she came from and for her to continue it on some day to keep the memories of family alive.
Here is our family recipe for white borscht. Many put sour cream or cream in it. We do not. We rely on the boiled egg yolks and a bit of corn starch slurry as the thickening agent.
Wesolego Alleluja! Joyous Easter!
White Easter Borscht
1 smoked ham bone
4 slices of smoked bacon
1 – 2 lbs. smoked ham chopped
2 cups cooked kielbasa sliced
6 – 8 hard boiled eggs, shelled and cut in half
2 tbsp. of vinegar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
Fresh horseradish root
2 hard boiled eggs shelled and sliced
Put a smoked ham bone and 4 slices of bacon in 6 quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove and discard ham bone and bacon. Put broth in refrigerator for overnight.
Next morning, bring out the broth and skim off the fat. Add the ham and sausage to it. While, reheating the borscht, scoop the egg yolks from the 6-8 boiled eggs into a bowl. Chop the egg whites into bite sized pieces and add to the borscht. Take some of the broth and add to the egg yolks – just enough to mash them into a smooth paste. Add to the borscht. Add the vinegar or more to your taste. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and water to create a slurry and add to the borscht slowly; mixing it until it thickens. Reduce to a simmer and scrape in fresh horseradish root. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Pour into bowls and garnish with sliced boiled egg and a little more fresh horseradish. Enjoy!