In Poland, red borscht is one of the twelve traditional Christmas dishes served on Christmas Eve dinner. Cooked on a vegetarian broth, served with aromatic dumplings full of mushrooms is the quintessence of Christmas.

Borscht served on Christmas Eve is a fast soup (meatless). It does not contain any meat additives, it is a “pure” soup made with vegetable broth, beetroot and mushrooms. It is usually served as the first dish on Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas red borscht by CRAVEmonkey
Christmas red borscht by CRAVEmonkey

It is worth remembering that Christmas red borscht is different from a regular red borsch, which is prepared during the year. The Christmas Eve variety of this dish is prepared from broth, vegetables and beetroot. Then it is combined with the dried mushrooms broth.

How to make Christmas red borscht? Here is the recipe step by step:

Ingredients for Christmas red borscht:

  • 7 small beetroots
  • 2.5l of vegetable broth
  • 40 g of dried mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tb of marjoram,
  • 6 seeds of black pepper,
  • 2 bay leaves,
  • 4 seeds of allspice
  • one lemon
  • salt and ground pepper (to taste)


  1. Rinse the dried mushrooms, put them in a pot (it does not have to be big) and pour 2 cups of cold water.
  2. Add two cloves of garlic and two bay leaves to the mushrooms. It is best to leave the mushrooms to soak up all night but a few hours is enough.
  3. Then cook the mushrooms in water, in which they soak for about 15 minutes until they are soft.
  4. In a separate pot, prepare the vegetable broth.
  5. Wash the beetroots, and then peel them (we recommend doing it in gloves such as latex) and throw them into a hot vegetable broth.
  6. Then add marjoram, pepper and allspice. Season with salt and boil.
  7. When the broth boils, reduce the heat and cook under cover for about 40-60 minutes (until the beetroots are soft).
  8. After that, remove our borscht from the stove. It is worth to leave beetroots in it for a few hours. Thanks to this, it will acquire a more intense colour.
  9. Then remove beetroots from borscht and pour into it a mushroom broth.
  10. Then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Sieve the borscht through a sieve.
  12. In the end, optionally cut a few cooked mushrooms into strips and add to the borscht.

Traditionally, Christmas red borscht in Poland is served with dumplings.

Here you will find our other options for the Christmas table.

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