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Barley Borscht

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours 50 min.


16 servings

This is one of my favorite soups. It makes good use of the many vegetables that are being harvested this time of year here in North Dakota.


  • 2 pounds meaty beef soup bones
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium rutabaga (about 1 pound), diced
  • 3 cups fresh diced beets (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 small head cabbage (about 1 pound), shredded
  • 2-1/2 cups diced carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 2-1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Fresh dill


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine beef bones, onion, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Strain broth; discard bones, onion and seasonings. Skim fat and return broth to the kettle. Add rutabaga, beets, celery, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and barley. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender and barley is cooked. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar; heat through. Ladle into serving bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Sprinkle with dill.

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