Oh borscht! We used to wonder, how could such a humble soup require so many steps to prepare, and dirty so many pots and pans in the process?! The recipe we inherited, though delicious, used to confound us with the disjointed process and the seemingly endless need to chop and cook each ingredient in a precisely unique fashion.
It turns out, of course, Grandma never used a recipe herself. She would whip up a batch of borscht in what seemed like mere minutes, by memory, steaming and bowled for any guest who came through to visit. Here, we’ve streamlined the process as much as possible without diverging from intent of the dish.
For us, borscht has always felt like a family meal well served… so gather yours around, and enjoy!
Serve with a crusty bread for lunch, or Ukrainian Potato Pierogi for dinner.
2019 -Recipe edited for clarity.
Traditional Doukhobor Borscht
- 1 Small-Med Onion diced and divided into 1/4 and 3/4 cups
- 4 cups Organic Tinned Diced Tomatoes (1 liter)
- 6 Tbsp Olive Oil or Butter divided
- 1 Green Pepper diced & divided into three 1/4 cup servings
- 2 Carrots 1 grated (1/2 cup) and 1 diced (1/2 cup)
- 12 cups Water (3 liters)
- 1.5 Tbsp Sea Salt
- 5 Med Potatoes 4 halved and 1 diced (1 cup)
- 1 Small Beet
- 1 Celery Stalk (1/4 cup)
- 5 Cups Shredded Cabbage divided into 2 cups & 3 cups
- 1 Cup Cream or Coconut Cream divided
- 1 Small Bunch Green Onions diced & divided into 1/4 and 1/2 cup
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill divided
- 1 Tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
- Set on the stove a larger stock pot (12L+), a smaller pot (8L) and set two bowls (6L) on the counter.
- Dice and divide the onion into both a 1/4 and 3/4 cup portion.
- In the smaller pot bring to a simmer all 1L (4 cups) of tinned diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup diced onion, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice and divide the green pepper and one carrot. Grate the second carrot.
- In the larger stock or canning pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté 3/4 cup of diced onion until translucent (not brown), 1/4 cup of diced green pepper, and the grated carrot (1/2 cup). Remove, and set aside in a bowl.
- Into the large stock or canning pot, add 3L (6 cups) water, salt, the diced carrots, the halved potatoes, beet, celery, and half of the simmered tomatoes from the smaller pot.
- Bring to a covered rolling boil until the halved potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, set aside the second half of the tomatoes from the smaller pot into the bowl where you placed the onions, green pepper and grated carrots from step 5. Rinse out the pot.
- In the newly rinsed smaller pot, sauté 2 cups of the shredded cabbage with 2 tbsp olive oil until soft and translucent.
- Once the halved potatoes are cooked through (approx 20-25 mins) remove them from the larger stock pot and place them in the second bowl to mash with 1/2 cup cream or coconut cream, 1/4 cup green pepper, 1/4 cup green onion and 1 tbsp of fresh dill.
- Add to the larger stock pot the diced potato, remaining 3 cups of raw shredded cabbage, and 1/2 cup cream or coconut cream. Bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the potato mash into the larger stock pot, stir. Bring back to a boil.
- Add to the lager stock pot the remainder of the simmered tomatoes, sautéed carrots and onion from the bowl, and sautéed cabbage from the smaller pot. You can now wash and put away your smaller pot and two bowls.
- To finish, add 1/2 cup green onion, remaining diced green pepper, 1 tbsp fresh dill.
- Remove from heat and let rest 10-15 minutes.
- Cracked sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve with cayenne at the table.
-Shredder or Grater
-5-6 small bowls for mis-en-place
-4 cup capacity measuring cup
-Large Stock or Canning Pot (12L capacity+) with lid
-Large Pot (8L capacity or so)
-Two Bowls (6 cup capacity or so)
-2 Cutting Boards