There are at least as many beet soup opinions as there are people in Poland, with households divided over meat, kvass, vinegar and black pepper, among other contentious ingredients. But it’s generally agreed that barszcz czerwony, referred to as “borscht” in English, represents the pinnacle of Polish cooking. The soup is used to celebrate holidays and to welcome guests. And in the case of Barbara Rembiesa-Carter’s recipe, it also serves as an essential introduction to her home country’s cuisine.

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