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I have been dating an Eastern European for two years now and so have been well and truly inducted into the whole concept of vinegar and pickled oddities being used in food preparation outside of a fish and chip shop, serving soup with boiled potatoes instead of bread is a new one on me though.

This soup is made with an entire jar of pickled beets, pickling juice and all. There are some other bits thrown in, but mostly it is beetroot. It is very sweet and the sour cream is essential to take it down a notch or two; serve with a dollop on top as per my photo or if your aesthetic is more Barbie pink stir it in just before serving.

Makes Dulcie's List   Makes Cosmin's List


  • 1 carrot
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 litre water (1.8 pints / 4.2 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 200g  pickled beetroot (7oz / 1.3 cups)
  • 500g gammon (17.6oz)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 500g potatoes(19.6oz / 2.2 cups)
To Serve
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped chives
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Boiled eggs


  • Calories | 281
  • Fat | 10.3g

Serves | 6 portions

Prep Time | 15 minutes

Cooking Time | 1 hour


  1. To prepare the stock, cut the carrot, parsnip, celery and onion into large chunks and sauté in the butter until lightly golden.
  2. Add the water, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain the stock and discard the vegetables and spices.
  3. Dice the gammon and cook in a heavy based pan with the oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat
  4. Coarsely grate the beetroot and add half to the gammon together with the potatoes which you have peeled and diced. Add enough of the stock to just cover the ingredients, cover and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Stir in the remaining stock, and add pickling juice from the jar of beets to taste, heat until the soup is the desired temperature. Stir in the remaining grated beetroot.
  6. Serve with sour cream, chopped chives and boiled eggs on top and boiled potatoes on the side.

Based on a recipe found at

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