A Smoky sweet and robust soup with interesting spices and hearty vegetables. This delicious Gluten free German Borscht fills the need for comforting warm food as the temperatures outdoors begin to cool.
This German Borscht Recipe came from my sister-in-law, Brigitte. She was born and raised in West Germany. Her family is still there. She immigrated to the U.S. as a young mother and is now married to my very lucky brother.
Brigitte was an outstanding professional cook for many, many years. We always look forward to her delicious offerings at family parties. She knows all the tricks to making really good food. I love it when she shares her recipes with me!
This soup is very tasty and VERY low cal! Brigitte’s German borscht recipe also offers ideas on garnish for this soup. If you like, try the vinegar and sour cream as garnishes on this wonderful healthy soup for a delicious extra zing! Add a splash and a dollop on top. Adjust to your taste.
Brigitte’s Bay leaves from her own Bay leaf Tree!
Not long ago my mother stopped by with a bag of Brigitte’s bay leaves. Brigitte grows her Bay leaves from her very own Bay leaf tree! A few of those flavorful, spicy leaves went into this soup and produced a lovely flavor.
The spices in this soup blend terrifically. A beautiful, full-bodied flavor compliments the meat and vegetables.
Eating from recipes and hand grown treasures, like Brigitte’s Bay leaves, spread a layer of love over the meal. Fun and wonderful memories envelop each bite. I’m so grateful for Brigitte’s generosity, common sense, wisdom and practical knowledge eagerly and lovingly shared over our years as sisters.
Here’s a Tip : Look for really meaty Ham Hocks! I bought some ham hocks on sale and realized when I cooked them they were mostly bone and fat. There are meatier ham hocks out there. If you can’t lay your hands on a good package of ham hocks a nice smoky ham will work to build up the Borscht.
I used my Frozen Whole Tomatoes instead of the canned soup. It made a wonderful tomato stock base for this recipe. Most of the vegetables in the pictures of the recipe you see in today’s post came from our Organic Garden. If you are a gardener this recipe is a perfect garden to table recipe for harvest time!
The history of German Borscht:
Here’s how to make Brigitte’s German Borscht Recipe:
This soup is very interesting. The smoky hocks and spices make a delicious combination with the veggies and garnishments.
You can make it on your stove top, in your crockpot or in your instant pot! It’s easy and versatile. I have changed up the vegetables several times. ALWAYS use the cabbage though. And remember really hard veggies like carrots and kohlrabi may not completely soften in the instant pot on slow cook. If this happens just use your instant pot soup function for the last half hour of cooking. The longer this soup simers and cooks the better the flavor. Enjoy!
A traditional soup made from smoked Ham Hocks and vegetables with interesting spices. Very flavorful.
SOUP STOCK INGREDIENTS
- 1 lb. ham hocks, choose extra meaty ones
- 30 oz. Can whole tomatoes
- 4 Cups chicken broth
- Water (as necessary to build the consistency you prefer-no more than 4 Cups.)
- 1 Cup carrots, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Celery, Chopped
- 1 Cup onions, chopped
- 1 Cups potatoes, red boilers-chopped
- 1/2 medium cabbage, green or red-sliced
- 10 Whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 10 whole cloves
- 4 whole bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
RECOMMENDED GARNISHMENTS AS YOU DESIRE:
- 2 Tablespoons cream
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- In a large stock pot boil the ham hocks with water and chicken broth to cover the hocks.
- Boil until the ham hocks fall off the bones
- If the hocks are very greasy, cool the whole pot in the fridge. Skim off the extra fat as it hardens and rises to the top of the soup pot.
- Remove the soup bones if desired.
- Return the pot to the stove and heat it to medium heat.
- Add vegetables except potatoes and cabbage slices. cook on low boil for 30 minutes.
- Put in the potato chunks and boil additional 20 minutes.
- Add the spices and cabbage and boil 30 minutes or until cabbage is fork tender.
This traditional soup came with these instructions to make it in a stock pot. For those of you that have either a crock pot or instant pot this recipe should easily convert. For a crockpot boil the ham Hocks in a stock pot and cool then continue the recipe in your crock pot on high heat 4 hours.
Amount Per Serving Calories 218
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