Barszcz Czerwony z Uszkami (Polish Beetroot Soup with Mushroom Dumplings)
Posted May 12, 2012on:
Several years ago, when I had an amazingly huge kitchen in my Chicago apartment, my friend and I threw a “soup and bread” party. We both made a soup each and in addition I also made some crusty bread to go with it. Our guests would just come and bring some canapes of their choice. And since it was winter, I had to make some glögg to warm everybody up. I mean, who wouldn’t like a glass of glögg?
My co-host who is Polish made a soup which was very special to his heart called barszcz czerwony z uszkami. It literally means red beetroot soup with uszka or “little ears” which are dumplings made with mushrooms. This style of beetroot soup is clear but full of flavours of beets, celeriac, and mushrooms. It’s also very earthy, comforting and warm, just the perfect restorative for a cold winter day. I was told that barszcz czerwony z uszkami is also a special vegetarian soup that is only served during Christmas in Poland.
I finally got a chance to make this soup again to pay tribute to him for being such a fantastic friend. I remembered his mum in Poland mentioning something about making the soup with a starter as described by Tasty Colours. However, I did not have the luxury to make the starter ahead of time; so I proceeded without it. I also made the uszka filling with oyster mushrooms because they are so much meatier. Together, with the soup, they worked like a charm. Just make sure you don’t get stains from the beets though. =)
- 4 small-medium red beets, peeled and roughly chopped
- 200 g celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stick, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic,left whole
- 5 dried whole mushrooms, soaked and sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- Start by sweating the beets with some oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Then, gradually add celeriac, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and bay leaf.
- Add about 2 litres of water to the pot and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Simmer for about 2 hours with the lid off and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- 10-15 oyster mushroom caps, fine chopped
- 1 tbsp shallots, fine chopped
- 1 1/4 cup AP flour
- 2 eggs
- Make a malleable dough with AP flour, eggs, and a big pinch of salt. Knead, wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Saute mushrooms with shallots and a pinch of salt until very fragrant. Reserve in a bowl and let it cool.
- Divide the dough into two balls and roll out one of them until the dough is just see-through.
- Using a cookie cutter (approximately 4 inches in diametre), cut dough into rounds.
- Fill dough with a little filling.
- Wet the perimeter of the dough rounds. Fold into a semi circle and press edges to seal. Connect the two pointed ends of the dumpling and press them together to seal. Repeat until the filling is exhausted.
- Cook dumplings in a pot of simmering salted water until they float and the dumplings are tender.
- Serve dumplings with beetroot soup in a bowl.