Doukhobor Borscht

There’s something special about homemade soup, especially when it’s made with fresh garden vegetables.

My friend Cheryl introduced me to this variation on borscht that I had never experienced before. She made such a delicious batch, I had to get the recipe and try it at home.

I’m not sure my version was as good as Cheryl’s (doesn’t it seem tastier when someone else makes it for you!) but my garden provided the potatoes, carrots, little beets and dill, so that made it extra special.

This recipe is from The Life Nostalgic, although I made a few variations. Like anything, the more you make a recipe, the more you get comfortable with the adaptations.

First, you will need several beets, about 4 carrots, 6 potatoes, a cabbage, an onion, a can of tomatoes (whole or diced), celery, butter, whipping cream and dill.

Ingredients you will need

As mentioned, I adapt when I cook. For instance, my potatoes are the small gemson variety, so I used more than 6 – I basically selected what I thought looked like 6 potatoes. My beets are also very immature, so they are small and I adapted. My carrots are probably not what would be considered an average size, so I used a few more. The actual portions are reflected in the printable recipe below.

Start by prepping all your vegetables. Chop the onion, grate half the carrots, and dice the rest of the carrots, grate half the beets and dice the rest of the beets. Chop your cabbage (I only used half a small head of cabbage). Slice three potatoes in half, and dice the rest into a size you would like in your soup.

Prep the vegetables

You will need two pots – a large soup pot, and a smaller pot.

In the medium pot, melt half the butter and fry the onion until glossy and translucent. Season with salt and pepper and a little bit of dill. Add the tomatoes, grated carrots and grated beets. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and breaking up the tomatoes. It will turn into a rich red stew. After 20 minutes, take off the heat and set aside.

Fry the onions in butter until soft, then add the tomatoes, grated beets and carrots
Boil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly

Meanwhile, fill the soup pot with water and bring to a boil. To this water, add the 3 potatoes that you cut in half, the diced beets, diced carrots, celery and a generous dash of salt. This will be the foundation of your soup. Boil until the potatoes are done.

Boil water in the soup pot and add the potatoes that were sliced in half, the diced beets and carrots and the celery

When the potatoes are soft, scoop them out of the water and mash them in a separate bowl. Set them aside.

Scoop out the boiled potatoes, mash and set aside

To the water, add the remaining butter, whipping cream and diced potatoes. Boil for one minute, then add the tomato “stew” that you made in the smaller pot. Add the cabbage and the mashed potatoes, as well as the dill. I let this simmer for several hours, tasting and adjusting salt if necessary.

Add whipping cream and butter…see it floating…
Add diced potatoes and the tomato “stew”
Add the mashed potatoes
Add the cabbage and the dill
Mix it up and let it simmer several hours

I have found with soup and stews that if I put the pot in the fridge overnight, it tastes so much better the next day (if you can wait that long!)

When you serve the soup, garnish with sour cream.

This is a rich, tasty variation on borsht that I really enjoy. My family’s traditional borscht is made with beef and many more beets. It’s worth trying too. Click here for that recipe.

Fresh vegetables make thus even more spectacular, so whether you have a garden, borrow from your neighbour’s, or visit the local farmer’s market, enjoy this tasty meal! The printable recipe is below.

Doukhobor Borscht

Adapted from The Life Nostalgic

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) canned tomatoes (can be whole or diced)
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 beets, grated
  • 2 beets, diced
  • 6 medium potatoes – slice 3 in half and dice 3
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ to ½ lb butter
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • half a medium head of cabbage, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • several stalks of fresh dill, chopped

In medium pot, melt half the butter and fry the onion until glossy and translucent. Season with salt and pepper and a little bit of dill.

Add the tomatoes, grated carrots and grated beets. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and breaking up the tomatoes.

Fill the soup pot with water and bring to a boil. To this water, add the 3 potatoes that you cut in half, the diced beets, diced carrots, celery and a generous dash of salt. Boil until the potatoes are done.

When the potatoes are soft, scoop them out of the water and mash them in a separate bowl. Set them aside.

To the water, add the remaining butter, whipping cream and diced potatoes. Boil for one minute, then add the tomato “stew”. Add the cabbage, mashed potatoes, and dill.

Let simmer for several hours, tasting and adjusting salt if necessary.

When serving, garnish with sour cream.

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4 thoughts on “Doukhobor Borscht

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  1. I have to say, after making borscht from the life nostalgic recipe 3 times I was devastated to see that particular page was no longer available. After finding this one and noticing how close it was, gave it a go and found one of the most crucial pieces of information was missing. The amount of water you need for the foundation. the quantity of ingredients is directly related to the amount of water for the foundation and without that you are flying blind. its going to take some work to get back to what that recipe provided. such a disappointment.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback. I make soup so often, that I use my soup pot to gauge how much water to use. Stock pots are usually about 12 quarts, or 11 litres, so a good rule of thumb would be about 7-8 litres of water. Good luck

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