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Heavenly German Borscht Recipe

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.

This soup is very tasty and VERY low cal. Brigitte’s borscht recipe has ideas on garnish for this soup.

German Borscht Recipe
German Borscht Recipe

Her family is still there. She immigrated to the U.S. as a young mother and is now married to my very lucky brother.

German Borscht Recipe
This recipe is an excellent way to use up in season garden produce. We used our own Cabbage, carrots, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. I didn’t garnish the borscht this time, but we have in the past. It’s great either way.

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!

Brigitte And Her Bay Leaf Tree
Brigitte and her Bay Leaf Tree

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.

I highly Recommend Quick N Easy baking powder biscuits or my Cheesy Bruschetta Garlic Bread as a companion to this soup. So good!

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.

Brigitte's Bay Leaves For German Borscht Recipe. A Tasty German Soup Made With Smoked Ham Hocks And Fresh Vegetables.
Brigitte’s Bay leaves from her Bay Leaf tree

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.

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.

German Borscht Recipe

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:

Borscht is a soup of long and varied European history. You can read all about this interesting soup and its infinite variations in this article on Wikipedia. This article covers all kinds of different borscht recipes, styles, and ethnic cultures.
This recipe for German Borscht is associated with the Mennonite culture. I love this soup history.
It is a soup of the peasants, credited with many health properties and very frugal! It is also full of interesting spices I don’t normally put into my soups. The flavor is excellent!
 
German Borscht Recipe
My Ma always said we came from good peasant stock! Our family descends from Slavic peoples that probably survived on various forms of Borscht. That must be why I love this soup.

Brigitte’s Heavenly 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 simmers and cooks the better the flavor. Enjoy!

German Borscht In One Of It's Many Forms. Delicious!
Yield: 8

German Borscht

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A traditional soup made from smoked Ham Hocks and vegetables with interesting spices. Very flavorful.

Ingredients

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

SPICES:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot boil the ham hocks with water and chicken broth to cover the hocks.
  2. Boil until the ham hocks fall off the bones
  3. 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. 
  4. Remove the soup bones if desired.
  5. Return the pot to the stove and heat it to medium heat.
  6. Add vegetables except potatoes and cabbage slices. cook on low boil for 30 minutes.
  7. Put in the potato chunks and boil additional 20 minutes.
  8. Add the spices and cabbage and boil 30 minutes or until cabbage is fork tender.

Notes

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. 

NOTE: The video shows you Brigitte making her German Cabbage Rolls. Another excellent dinner recipe you want to miss.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Amount Per Serving Calories 218

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

German Borscht In One Of It's Many Forms. Delicious!
Yield: 8

German Borscht

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A traditional soup made from smoked Ham Hocks and vegetables with interesting spices. Very flavorful.

Ingredients

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

SPICES:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot boil the ham hocks with water and chicken broth to cover the hocks.
  2. Boil until the ham hocks fall off the bones
  3. 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. 
  4. Remove the soup bones if desired.
  5. Return the pot to the stove and heat it to medium heat.
  6. Add vegetables except potatoes and cabbage slices. cook on low boil for 30 minutes.
  7. Put in the potato chunks and boil additional 20 minutes.
  8. Add the spices and cabbage and boil 30 minutes or until cabbage is fork tender.

Notes

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. 

NOTE: The video shows you Brigitte making her German Cabbage Rolls. Another excellent dinner recipe you want to miss.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Amount Per Serving Calories 218

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

If you enjoy this recipe please share it with your friends.

Looking for more delicious soups? Get started with these!

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Classic German Borscht-Pin Image
Authentic German borscht is a smoky, sweet, and robust soup with interesting spices and hearty vegetables.

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German Borscht Recipe-Pin Image
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.

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Friedrich W.O Vonostrowo

Saturday 12th of October 2019

My dad's family is from East Prussia and Beetenborscht is well known there but beef (the tougher the better used to be used, often neck bones, beef shank(?)) was the meat used and beets were used instead of potatoes at least in mom's recipe. A smoked pork hock does sound good though now I often use stewing beef or sirloin tip roast because odd cuts of beef are hard to find now that there are so few butcher shops left and expensive in the supermarket if you can find it at all. I think it is all being used to make pink slime and made into weiners! We used to get it from our butcher long ago for next to free. I'll try your recipe when I run out of my beets.

Diane

Saturday 12th of October 2019

Hi Fredrich, Thank you for sharing your interesting foodie story. I don't know the history of my particular recipe for German Borscht. I asked my sister in law but she can't remember where it came from. The smoked ham hocks make a wonderful soup. Let us know how this recipe turns out for you. Have a great weekend!

Sika

Sunday 28th of January 2018

Very interesting soup, as a German soup, i have never heard of it? Borscht Is unknown in Germany. Maybe something was confused? There is a Russian stew named borschtsch and a polish variant called Barszcz. The polish version will always be made with beetroot ( beetroot soup ) the Russian stew with Meat and seasonal vegetables and beetroot. The Name of your recipe is mine unknown as a German recipe. It's typical Russian. Your soup Sounds spicy like a goulash with vegetables. But certainly delicious ... nice greetings from Germany

Diane

Sunday 28th of January 2018

Hi Sika, How fun to talk to you from Germany! This recipe came from my German Sister in Law. It's possible I am confused about where she got it. Maybe from a Russian National she ran into. I hope you enjoy it as we do and thank you for your input into its' origins. Enjoy the soup and Have a lovely day.

Richard Covert

Thursday 16th of October 2014

For weightychoice having the calorie count is useful. I put the recipe up in a couple places because I know it does not have to be a "bad calorie?

homemadefoodjunkie

Thursday 16th of October 2014

I'm sorry Richard! I have been using a new recipe app that does not do the nutrition. I was having some formatting problems with the Edamame app. For you I have run the nutrition on this recipe. I was actually thinking of you when I made this soup. Borscht should be an excellent recipe for healthy eating. Here is the nutrition for you. I also posted it at the bottom of the recipe in the post. Thank you for mentioning you needed this. Per Serving 337 calories Fat 15 g Carbs 21 g Protein 32 g

Becky Winkler

Thursday 16th of October 2014

Wow, a bay leaf tree--that is so cool! I have been wanting to make borscht (I've never even eaten it!) and your version looks great.

Beth

Saturday 27th of June 2020

How much chicken broth vs water? The broth was not listed in ingredients.

homemadefoodjunkie

Thursday 16th of October 2014

Thank you Becky! This is a great soup. It's especially delicious with the suggested condiments. I hope you do give this recipe a try. Please let me know how it turns out for you. We love this soup! The Bay leaf tree Brigitte grows in her garden is pretty great. I'll post a picture of it when I get down there again. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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