Committee of Ministers Chairmanship – Poland : November 2004 – May 2005 

Barszcz - Red Beet Soup

Served in white porcelain, red and aromatic with delicious ‘uszka’ (a sort of small tortellini with mushroom filling), Red Beet Soup is a traditional Polish dish at Christmas.

Soak a cup of dried mushrooms in 1 litre of water for several hours or overnight. Fry a piece of bacon (about 200g), 2 pieces of garlic and some vegetables cut in pieces (onion, carrots, celery). Add mushrooms (with water), sliced leek, pepper and salt. Bring to the boil, then add 3-4 sliced beetroots, 1 spoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar and finally 1-2 cups of water (or a small cup of dry red wine). Cook very slowly for 30-40 minutes, until the soup becomes a beautiful, deep red colour. Add salt or pepper if needed and pour the soup through a sieve. Serve hot with uszka.

Uszka

Soak some dried mushrooms in a cup of water for several hours or overnight and cook in the same water until tender. Cut an onion in small pieces and fry in a spoon of butter. Cut mushrooms in small pieces, add fried onion, salt, pepper and an egg and mix thoroughly. Prepare a dough using 100g of flour and a small quantity of warm water, enough to make a soft, firm dough. Roll into a thin sheet (add some flour if too sticky) on a floured board. Cut into small squares, place a spoon of mushroom filling on each square, fold and press the edges to form “ears” (uszka means small ears because of shape of dumplings).