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Recipe: Borscht With Pork


Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook, we love this winter recipe. It is a favourite when we get a winter CSA share from Bee Loved Gardens or winter bundles from Orchard Hill Farm. Traditional recipes use beef stock and pork or beef bones, but we have more chicken and pork in our freezers so this is our version.


  • 10 cups chicken stock (Classic Recipe or Instant Pot Recipe)
  • 4 medium beets, cubed
  • 2 carrots, large dice
  • 2 tablespoons lard, butter or oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups red cabbage
  • 1-2 cups tomatoes (frozen raw or roasted tomatoes are great here!)
  • pork neck bones or ham hock for smokey taste
  • 1-2 cups cooked white kidney beans or 1 15-oz can
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • sour cream or cream for garnish


  1. Heat lard in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, salt and bay leaves; sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the chopped carrot and sauté another 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the beets, cabbage and another teaspoon salt.
  4. Add stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until veggies are tender.
  5. Add the neck/ham bones, tomatoes, beans, balsamic vinegar and half the herbs and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Before serving, season with lemon juice, remaining herbs, pepper and salt as needed. Serve with a slug of cream or dollop of sour cream. If using neck bone, adding a smokey flavour from fermented smoked pepper paste or smoked paprika is also nice. So flavourful, comforting and colourful!

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