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Barszcz Biały Na Zakwasie Polish Easter White Borscht Recipe

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A bowl of white borscht soup with eggs and bread on a plate.

Easter breakfast in Polish households always must be the popular white borscht recipe. Also called Barszcz Biały Na Zakwasie, it’s made with white sausages and homemade sourdough starter, and topped with halved boiled eggs.   

A lot of ingredients go into this special Polish Easter Borscht recipe. Although the recipe is a lot similar to the famous Polish zurek soup, it’s called a white Easter borscht.

This spicy and hearty soup is served with halves of boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, and veggies such as carrots and celery. 

What’s The Difference Between A Zurek And A Barszcz Biały?

The difference between these two soups is is in the fermented starters used. For zurek, we use rye flour as a starter, while for white borscht we use whole grain wheat flour and dried marjoram.

You could almost say that the Easter white borscht is traditional beet borscht that uses zakwas buraczany minus the beets. Made with ingredients from the traditional Easter basket, it represents the new life that we get as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection. 

How Is This Polish White Borscht Recipe Made?

You need to start with a fermented wheat flour starter. Of course, if you don’t want to use this, you can use lemon juice or vinegar. 

A pork broth or veggie broth is simmered with spices and bay leaves. Remove the ingredients from the broth by straining them out, then add in the starter and cook for a while.

If you used pork knuckles for the broth, the leftover meat can be used to make golonka w piwie or golonka po poznańsku.

If you used veggies in a rosol soup to make the broth, you can make a Polish vegetable salad from the leftovers. If you used carrots and peas for the broth, they’ll do especially well in a creamed peas and carrots salad

Once the white borscht soup is ready, add any toppings of your choice and serve. This slightly tangy and slightly sour barszcz bialy is the perfect dish for a cold autumn or winter day!

What Toppings Can I Add To This White Borscht Soup?

This soup can be topped with a variety of toppings:

  • Chopped potatoes
  • Halved boiled eggs
  • Sliced white sausages
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chopped boiled carrots
  • Chopped smoked bacon
  • Cooked pasta or noodles
  • Chopped parsley

If added just before serving, a spoon of grated horseradish or a few cloves of garlic adds a bit of tangy flavor to the soup.

Cooking Barszcz bialy.
Cookinf Barszcz bialy
Barszcz bialy with potatoes.
Barszcz bialy with potatoes
Barszcz bialy with pasta.
Barszcz bialy with pasta 

Tips for Making Polish White Borscht

  • If you used pork knuckles in this recipe, make golonka w piwie with them.
  • You can make Polish vegetable salad from the leftover rosol veggies. 
  • Top with a tablespoon of cream, fresh parsley, or white sausage.
  • You can also serve with a side of diced potatoes or hardboiled eggs. 
  • You can add fried bacon or smoked sausage to the soup too!
  • Add a side of fresh bread before serving!
A table set with Polish white borscht.
A table set with Polish white borscht
Barszcz white soup in a red bowl.
Barszcz white soup in a red bowl
Serve the Polish White Borscht with hard boiled eggs.
Serve the Polish White Borscht with hard-boiled eggs and parsley

Frequently Asked Questions About Preparing White Borscht Soup

What Is The Difference Between The Red Borscht And The Polish White Borscht Recipe?

Red Borscht is made using beetroot while white borscht is made with potatoes as the main ingredient.  

What Can I Use Instead Of Marjoram?

Barszcz biały will taste ok without marjoram. However, you can substitute marjoram with oregano in a 3:2 quantity. 

Do I Have To Use The Wheat Flour Starter?

No, you don’t have to use a wheat flour starter for the borscht. Instead, you can add lime juice or vinegar later on in the recipe. 

Can I Make This Polish Easter Borscht Recipe Gluten-Free?

To make gluten-free Polish white borscht, just replace the wheat flour with gluten-free flour and the wheat flour starter with lemon juice or dill pickle juice.

How Long Can Polish Easter Borscht Recipe Be Stored?

Polish Easter Borscht Recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

You shouldn’t really freeze white borscht. Just like żurek, it will change the consistency after defrosting. The taste will be the same but it won’t look good.

Polish Easter White Borscht Recipe

Yield: 20

Barszcz Biały Na Zakwasie Polish Easter White Borscht Recipe

A bowl of white borscht soup with eggs and bread on a plate.

Easter breakfast in Polish households must be the popular white borscht recipe. Also called Barszcz Biały Na Zakwasie, it's made with white sausages and homemade sourdough starter, and topped with boiled eggs.   

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


Fermented Wheat Flour Starter (Optional)

  • 5 tbsps of whole grain wheat flour
  • 2 cups of purified water
  • 4 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 5 allspice berries (optional)
  • 2-3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of dried marjoram (optional)

Barszcz Biały Pork Stock

  • 18 oz (0.5 kg) of pork knuckles / ribs / shoulder / bones
  • 2 big carrots
  • 1 parsley root
  • ½ celery root
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper

Other ingredients for Barszcz Biały

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 lemons / 3 tbsps of white vinegar (Use this if IF YOU DON'T HAVE the fermented wheat flour starter.)

Polish White Borscht Add-ons (Optional, as per your choice)

  • White sausage
  • Boiled eggs
  • Noodles
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Parsley


Step 1- Making The Fermented Wheat Flour Starter (Zakwas)

  1. In a clean jar, mix all the ingredients for the fermented wheat flour starter.
  2. Cover the jar with a linen cloth or gauze. Place it in the cold (max 20°C / 68°F), dark place.
  3. Stir zakwas twice a day.
  4. After 5-7 days it is ready to use. Strain it and throw away the spices and garlic.
  5. Cook white bortsch right away, or place your zakwas in the fridge. You can keep it there for up to 2 weeks.

Step 2 - Cooking The Pork Broth

  1. Cover the pork with cold water. Add allspice berries and bay leaves.
  2. Bring to an almost-boil (the soup CANNOT start boiling otherwise it will lose its taste.)
  3. If you notice any white/dark foam on top of the soup, collect it with a tablespoon and throw it away. It's called szumy and it's completely normal that you have it in your soup.
  4. When there is no more szumy left, peel or wash all the vegetables and put them into the soup.
  5. Let the soup simmer for 2-4 hours.
  6. Once this is done, strain all the ingredients out of the broth.

Step 3 - Cooking White Borscht

  1. Cook the pork broth.
  2. In the meantime, stir the fermented wheat flour starter.
  3. When the broth is hot (but not boiling!), start pouring the fermented wheat flour starter VERY slowly, stirring all the time.
  4. If you don't have the fermented starter, add 3 tbsps of white vinegar or juice squeezed of 3 lemons.
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and slowly pour the heavy cream, stirring all the time. Make sure the soup is not boiling hot, otherwise the cream will curdle!
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve warm with add-ons of your choice.


Optional Addons can be:

  • White sausage
  • Boiled eggs
  • Noodles
  • Boiled potatoes
  • parsley

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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3 Responses

  1. We use the water from cooked sausage then we use sour cream with flour and we put in the soup chopped egg,smoked and fresh sausage cooked, and chopped ham to add to the soup. Oatmeal and water to ferment for 4 days mixing 2 times a day and then strain to use the sour water from fermenting.

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