Soup and Bread

Solidarity Stew (Beef Barszcz)

solidaritystewFrom Katrina Van Valkenburgh

Says Katrina: This year’s Soup and Sanctuary theme was to create a soup that celebrates Chicago’s rich immigrant heritage. When I think of Chicago I think of the Polish bricklayers who built so much of this city and my experience of walking on job sites where they speak Polish to each other as they work. This soup is my interpretation of a beefy chunky Polish Barszcz. The name is also a tribute to Solidarity, communist Poland’s first independent trade union, and its lesson in what organizing can accomplish.


1 chuck roast, cubed and bones saved for pot
1 pound ground beef
4 large beets, roasted whole, then skinned and cubed
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
2 large onions, minced
4 carrots, sliced
1 small celery root, cubed
2 leeks, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
12 cups beef broth or water
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
bay leaf
sour cream
fresh dill


Cube chuck roast and add it with the bones to the beef broth or water. Add minced onions carrots, bay leaf and cubed celery root and cook for 2 hours, or until meat is tender. In the meantime roast the beets in the oven. When the meat falls off the bone, remove the bones from the pot. Add the cubed beets, shredded cabbage, sliced leeks, sliced mushrooms, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, and garlic. If soup is too thick, add more water or broth. Cook for another hour. In the meantime cook the crumbled ground beef in a skillet, remove the fat and add it to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowl with dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of fresh dill. Long live Solidarity (Stew)!

Katrina Van Valkenburgh started cooking full time for her family growing up from 5th grade until she went to college. Her favorite early job was working for the Women’s Lunch Place in Boston, a day shelter that serves food made from scratch to women who are poor and homeless in the basement of the Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street.  She moved to Chicago on New Year’s Day 1990 and briefly flirted with going to culinary school, but continues to work on creating housing for people who are homeless through her work for the Corporation for Supportive Housing. She shares her cooking with family and friends.

Posted: Monday Feb 13,2017 03:16 PM In Soup Recipes

Leave a Reply


Susbscribe to our awesome Blog Feed or Comments Feed