Long time ago, I was sure green borsch is unique for Ukrainian cuisine. In reality, a similar dish exists in many cuisines all over the world. For regions with four-season climates, a spring soup with local greens is a must. Similar to red borsch, there are many variations of green borsch in Ukraine. In our family, this soup was always made with a combination of sorrel and young nettle. First, potatoes were cooked in chicken stock and mashed to thicken it. Second, chopped sorrel, nettles, and scallions were added. Quickly brought to boiling, our soup was finished with dropped eggs. Done!

Piryatin Green Borsch
Piryatin Green Borsch
In my book, I shared my version of Piryatin (Poltava region) green borsch. Diced potatoes should be fried for this soup. Carrots and parsley root add some sweetness to balance sour sorrel. Piryatin green borsch is thickened with some flour and served with boiled eggs, chopped or sliced.

I miss changing seasons and seasonal foods in evergreen Central Texas. We are blessed and spoiled by never-ending bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables. How can you really appreciate the smell of cucumbers, if they are available year-round? So, I like having foods and ingredients I wait for, like sorrel. One of the most important ingredients for Ukrainian green borsch, fresh sorrel was not available in Central Texas at all for a long time. It changed about two years ago, when Central Market started selling it on Easter. If you crave for green borsch in Austin, now is perfect time to cook it!

The recipe below is one of my variations with a strong ox tail stock. I cook it in slow cooker overnight. Cover ox tail segments (usually, it is 1 tail per package) with 1 gallon of cold water, bring to boiling on high, reduce to low, cook for 6-8 hours, and strain the stock in the morning. Reserve the segments with meat. Refrigerate or freeze them separately until ready to use. I do not add any spices, herbs, vegetables, or salt. I want it to be tabula rasa.

Green Borsch IngredientsIf an ox tail is too exotic for you, use any stock of your choice, or water. Adjust the toppings (sour cream/yogurt, dropped/boiled eggs) to your taste and diets. Sorrel and other greens are the main hero in this soup, they create the flavor and pack it with spring goodness! Besides mature fresh sorrel leaves, during the season Central Market sells a salad mix Zesty Lemon Arugula with baby arugula and sorrel. Younger greens make the taste of green borsch milder, but are convenient, because you can skip chopping and use them whole.

Ox Tail Green Borsch

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: beef, greens, herb, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, potato, recipe, soup
Servings: 6 portions
Calories: 69kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 quart ox tail stock
  • 35 g parsley root
  • 150 g potatoes young, 1"
  • 100 g sorrel fresh
  • 50 g parsley fresh
  • 50 g chives fresh, leaves and flowers
  • 50 g dill fresh
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • Wash ingredients. Fill a pot with cold ox tail stock.
  • Peel and slice parsley root. Cut young potatoes in half. Place them into a stock and bring to boiling. Reduce the heat to minimum and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered. To serve your green borsch with whole ox tail segments, add them now to reheat. Remove them before adding greens and reserve for serving later.
  • Meanwhile, chop the greens. First, finely chop sorrel stems.
  • Roll sorrel leaves and cut them using chiffonade technique.
  • Chop parsley and chives.
  • Mix all the greens and reserve chives flowers.
  • When potatoes and parsley root are cooked, add greens, and turn heat to high. Have cracked raw eggs ready in a bowl. When your soup starts boiling, drop raw eggs and mix — they will turn into yellow and white threads. Turn off the heat and serve piping hot. Garnish each portion with an ox tail segment and chives flowers.

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition label shows values for a portion of soup without ox tail segment meat.