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+ servings

Borscht With Rustic Rye and Walnut Studded Dumplings



  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef (or veggie) stock
  • 1 ½ lbs beets (~ 4 large), peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • dill leaves, chopped fine


  • 3 slices German rye bread, lightly toasted and roughly blitzed (there are also a lot of gluten-free rye breads available)
  • zest from one lemon
  • dill, finely chopped
  • tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • cup walnut halves, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
  • 2 eggs, beaten


Prep the Meatballs

  • In a medium bowl, add all of the dumpling ingredients, along with a good grind of pepper. Mix to combine
  • Form into 12 dumplings weighing about 30 g each, squeezing very firmly as you shape them (it's really important to compress the dumplings, or they won't stay together during cooking)
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour, allowing them to firm up.


  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Saute the garlic, onion, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt for about five minutes, until the onion is soft.
  • Cover with 3 cups of stock, then add the beets, lemon juice, and grind of pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes, or until the beets are very soft

Cook the Dumplings

  • After the soup has been cooking for 25 minutes, add the remaining cup of stock to a medium saucepan, along with a strong pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, before turning the heat to low
  • Take the dumplings out of the fridge and compress them again.
  • Poach the dumplings in two batches for ~ 3 minutes a batch, turning them halfway, then transfer the cooked dumplings to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Strain the stock and water into the soup pot and leave to cook until the 50 minutes is up

Finish and Serve

  • Divide the soup between four bowls and top each portion with three dumplings
  • Spoon the sour cream alongside, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with dill and serve