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How To Make Delicious Doukhobor Borscht

How To Make Delicious Doukhobor Borscht

The Russians know cold. But instead of blogging about how much vodka you can safely consume in a sitting, I decided to post this recipe for a tummy-warming vegetarian soup called Doukhobor Borscht. I find that as November closes in, I’m drawn to soup like a sock to a static-charged skirt.

Babushka Reb teach you make soup!

You may have encountered BORSCHT before, but it was probably the straight-up purple variety. That stuff is yummy, there’s no doubt, but it’s got nothin’ on DOUKHOBOR BORSCHT. Creamy, flavourful and jam-packed with a mighty assortment of vegetables, I stand by this recipe as the ultimate borscht.

The Doukhobors are a sect of Russian Christians who immigrated to Canada in the 19th century. They settled in south-eastern British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

I found this particular recipe in Grand Forks, B.C. in a museum. So I know it’s authentic. FACT.

For your convenience: a printable borscht recipe.

Ingredients for Doukhobor Borscht

***please note that in the demonstration photos, I’ve halved the recipe, but the amounts listed here are for the full batch. If you make the whole thing, it’s going to be a large vat of liquid nutrition***

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 quart (1.13 litres) canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small beet, grated
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 lb (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp dill leaves (I prefer a big handful of chopped, fresh dill instead)

Brace yourself for beet hands!

You’ll need two pots for this operation, one major soup-pot (especially if you’re making the whole batch) and one medium pot.


How to make Doukhobor Russian Borscht Soup(1) In the medium pot: melt half the butter and fry the onion until glossy and translucent. Add the tomatoes, grated carrot, half the beet and half the green pepper.

Boil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and breaking up the tomatoes with your rustic wooden spoon.

It will turn into a rich red stew (2).

Meanwhile, in the major soup pot, boil 3.5 litres of water (3).

To this water, add 3 potatoes (cut in half), the remaining beet, diced carrot, celery and a generous dash of salt. This will be the foundation of your soup. Boil until the potatoes are done.

When they’re soft, fish out the potatoes and mash them in a separate bowl. Set them aside (4).

Doukhobor Borscht recipe - adding cream

Now add the remaining butter (1/2 cup), whipping cream and 3 diced potatoes to the major pot.

Boil for 1 minute, then add the tomato stew you boiled earlier.

Add the cabbage and mashed potatoes as well. Bring to a boil, then add the remaining green pepper and the dill. Season well with salt and pepper.

Let it simmer for a while to deepen the flavour.

Doukhobor Borscht Recipe by The Life Nostalgic Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill. I served mine with homemade biscuits, but a nice chunk of whole grain bread would be good too.

Enjoy your authentic Doukhobor Borscht!Β Leave me a comment if you intend to make this.

169 thoughts on “How To Make Delicious Doukhobor Borscht”

      • as far as i am concerned this is a great recipe takes me back to when i was a child stopping at Grand Forks and eating at the Doukhobor village on our way to ainsworth thanks for sharing Dave Olson Bluecreek wa

        • I just wanted to say thank you . my Husband has been wanting me to try some borscht since we got married and had our honeymoon at Ainsworth BC. we have tried many and this is the only one that tasted right to him, and the only one i liked. thank you again

  • My wife and I went to ‘The Borscht Bowl’ in Grande Forks at the end of September this year and remembered how much we liked Borscht. Now that the snow is flying, it seems like a fantastic thing to make.

    Your recipe sounds fantastic, so I will be making it today or tomorrow.

      • I am from Grand Forks , and I remember going to the Yale to get my bowl of borscht, it was a regular thing to do with my mother , I have been searching for YEARS ! To find a Borscht like that one , I am ESSTATIC to make this , because I truly beleive this is the same one we had at the Yale , sadly it’s gone now as it burned down , THANK YOU ! I am heading out now to get the ingredients to make this soup and I am mm going to bring my mother a big bowl of soup!

        • Hi have my nanas recipe for the real doukabour borscht. If you want it let me know. It has no carrots or beets.

        • I stopped at Yale over 18 years ago when my .Mom and I were on a road trip to Kimberly. I’m thrilled I now have recipe. Best Borscht and soup ever. I have beets in crisper, but it’s labour day, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to make it. Can you add extra beets to recipe or will that ruin it

    • My grandmother taught me how to make borscht and this is very close. Everyone has their own personal touch, which makes it special! I’ve never tried it with celery but I do know my grandmother always told me that it has to be BUTTER! She would even make the meat version using a turkey carcass. This is one of the few meals I can eat for breakfast lunch and dinner….for days on end if I had to. DELICIOUS.

  • Sorry, but it isn’t Borsch. Close, similar but it’s not.

    First of all – it is Ukrainian sup, not Russian.
    It must be based on bouillon…
    But the most important thing – boiling time needs to be adjusted to the specific ingredient cooking timing so all together each and every ingredient will be collected with maximum flavor and maximum utility.
    Borsch is really complicate to cook but once you understand how to do it you’ll never regret effort you spent. πŸ™‚

    • Um… Yeah… There are Russians, there are Doukhobors, and yes we do make our own variety of Borscht. Although the ingredients differ, it IS REAL AUTHENTIC BORSCHT. Our ancestors immigrated and have been making this style of borscht in Canada for more than 100 years… It is real.

      • I have to differ. It is not the “authentic Doukhobour borscht”. Our borscht has never been served with “dopple” of sour cream. I am a douk and have been making borscht since I was a child (nearly 50years ago). Restaurants may serve this to customers because of requests, however only Ukraine style is with sour cream. Our recipe compared to this is much different as the secret is in the way it is put together. Veggies are diced, not chunked, potatoes are mashed, tomatoes are blended, dill is a must & sour cream is not.
        saying “Authentic” is an embarrassment to our Doukhobour borscht. So sorry.
        I wouldn’t sell this to my customers for they know our Doukhobour borscht and they stretch from around the globe.
        Happy cooking!

        • There are many and more versions of “authentic” Ukrainian, Russian, and Doukhobor Borscht or Borsch, none of which I consider to be an “embarrasment,” and all are fabulously delicious.

          • Yes Heather, thanks for saying that. It seems absurd that people comment bashing any version of borscht.

            • First off, for anyone with a negative comment about Miss Reb’s version of borscht, if you are such an expert on borscht making why are you browsing recipes anyway? And second, did you try this recipe out in lieu of your obviously superior version and actually taste it, because it’s amazing.

              • Katie, I love your comment…” if you are such an expert on borscht making why are you browsing recipes anyway?” It made me laugh so loud. It is so true. I come from 2 very large French families, and I was born in a very large French community. We are known for Tourtiere (meat pie), and Brown Sugar Pies, and yet there are so many variations and different name given to the same recipes within our very French community. That’s the way it goes! How can anyone dare to make a disclaimer on anything? Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, but people tweek, and adjust things according to their own dislikes and likes. Thank you for sharing this recipe “The Life Nostalgic”. I love to try new variations of everything. That’s how you find your new favorites!

                • Oops, I meant to say there are so many variations and different name given to the same ‘dishes’, not the same ‘recipes’.

            • My grandparents were Doukhobors and this is EXACTLY like my grandma used to make. I grew up on this wonderful recipe and was absolutely delighted to find the recipe that takes me back to those wonderful occasions and hanging out in my Bobbie’s kitchen.

              We didn’t put sour cream in it, but my grandfather would put jalapeΓ±o in his bowl. It didn’t make it less authentic, it was a personal touch.

              Ignore the haters, this is the real deal. Thank you SO much for this beautiful recipe!

        • This is the same borscht we have made in GF for over a hundred years. Grandparents great grandparents have the style as life nostalgic suggests. So Don’t be hating on it.

          • If this is who i think it is I’ve had your borsch and it is so amazing and have been looking for a recipe like yours ever since and when I found this one it sounded so close to what I might have had. I am so looking forward to making this 😊

        • I agree,Vera!! The way you described it is how my Mom and Baba made it!! I love it and could eat it everyday!!

        • Absolutely agree Vera ! My recipe is from Castlegar, my Russian boyfriends Mom graced me with her recipe. It is quite different from what you are calling authentic. No one is bashing your borscht recipe … just that you have chosen to deem it authentic.

        • Recipes have a cultural and regional component and then are fine tuned in the home kitchen. Who’s to judge what is the real authentic version? The bottom line, borscht is a fine soup, in fact, I’ve never met one I didn’t like. I’ve made this recipe and loved it!

        • I am a Douk as well and the recipe I grew up with has no beets or celery and for the potatoes some are diced and some are mashed. Different recipes passed down and tweeked through the ages.

    • Wrong, my grandmother right off the boat from ussr…she made a borscht wI think cabbage onion, potato, tomatoes, cream, lemon and dill…
      Personally soup, borscht was poor people’s food…it’s recipe depends on what one had on hand…

  • I have made this recipe….probably more than fifty times.Its amazing!!!!!I also went to the borshct bowl in grande forks and couldnt get this soup out of my mind.Your recipe is perfect and is exactly like the doukhbour borscht of grande forks.Thank you!This is a recipe i will never forget.Cheers!

  • Oleg, I assure you, this recipe is Russian. I grew up with a ton of Doukhobors in Castlegar, BC, and this IS how they make it. This one is not a meat stock, it’s only vegetables. That’s what makes it different. And thanks so much for the Recipe Rebecca! Think I’m gonna attempt this today. Wish me luck!

  • My mother was doukhobor from Ooteschenia, (castlegar) this is authentic and different from Ukrainian borscht. Oleg, this is real borscht I can promise you. Thanks for taking the time to go to the museum for this and sharing : ) doukhobors were vegetarians, no meat.

    • This is the closest to the recipe my husbands grandmother made.. I have her recipe.. The only difference really was that she whipped (by hand) the butter, potatoes and cream.. then added the remaining cooked veggies. BORSCHT as I was told by her was peasant soup and you used what you had in your pantry. I am certain that every family has their own version based on what was available. And she was a first generation immigrant from Russia they still got the newspaper and vodka sent to them from the homeland.

  • This recipe is great! I’m not a huge fan of beet borscht, which is all I can ever find to buy in my town. I made your recipe today and it was awesome, exactly what I wanted. I added some chicken bouillon for extra flavour, but that was the only adjustment I made. Thank you for posting this!!!

  • I am going to try your recipe, I want to see how it companies to mine. My grandmother used to make both kinds of borscht , but my favorite is doukobor borscht, when we make it, and yes the recipe makes a lot , me Andy mom can eat the whole pot in a day it is that good. If you would like to try my recipe to see how you like it let me know. And yes mine is authentic as well.

  • Hey excellent, my Mom was wondering how to make this borscht and she is an old fashioned lady and never considered I would be able to find it for her on the net. She will be so happy as she doesnt like the meat based russian borsht. I will also try it, but unfortunately I like meat! I will substitute the water with turkey stock…thanks!

  • I was scouring the net today trying to decide which Borscht recipe to use today and came across this. I spent the better part of my 26 years living in Grand Forks so it only seems right to make this recipe. In regards to Oleg’s comment; this is borscht. The reality is that Russians, Ukrainian’s, and Polish all claim that their borscht is the true borscht and the others are something imposters.

  • There are so many variations of borscht, depending on the region it comes from. My heritage is Polish, and our “borscht”, or “barszcz” is a clear soup made from soured beets. They are all delicious! I learned this delicious recipe after visiting Nelson, B.C. which is close to Castlegar, where the Doukhobours have settled over 100 years ago.

  • I received my Borscht recipe from my father in law who grew up in Grey Creek, close to Nelson which is dukabor country in BC. Mine has even more pots going with pan frying the cabbage in a ton of butter as well as the beet ( i use 3-4 small beets peeled and cubed)- carrot broth pot, and russetts in another pot of water boiling to mash. To the spuds – after mashing i add another 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup whipping cream, and dollops of sour cream. Then all goes into the Dutch oven beet pot adding canned or stewed tomatoes last. Simmer for 20 mins and serve with another dollop of sour cream. This is incredibly rich soup. The pan fried cabbage is the special trick i think. You dont brown it but coat it in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I was even given a hand carved spoon – traditional dukabor implement.
    Drain and discard spud water. Not used in this recipe – only the beet carrot broth which is about 4 cups. Chunks of beet are perfectly cooked as well. Yummy!

  • Borscht is delicious anyway you make it. Traditionally being from a doukhobor back ground we have had it the way listed. Recently I was able to travel back to the motherland and found they had about 50+ different variations of borscht on the menues at different restaraunts. This made me experiment and try out different versions. To date I have made about 10 different types but find you can’t beet (a little borscht pun) the traditional doukhobor way. Thanks for sharing your reciepe.

  • For the Love of Borscht

    I discovered Doukhobor Borscht at the Yale Hotel in the late 1970’s when I first camped in Christina Lake. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I also discovered that Ann

    • my great grandmother who recently just passed away used to make the borscht at the yale hotel, I wish she had an exact recipe written down but she just did it all from memory. This soup looks very similar to hers though!

      • Katrian

        I salute your gr-grandma. I had a recipe given to me in the 70s by an elderly doukabor lady. It is so delicious. The only thing that was the same as that recipe was from the yale hotel. Everytime we’d be driving through Grand Forks (a few times a year), we’d always stop and have a bowl of borscht at the Yale Hotel. Later on, I’d stop in myself on the way through and get a big batch to bring to my parents in Genelle. A very nice memory to have of your gr-grandma.

      • Had borscht at the yale hotel many times over many years as I spent my summers at Christina Lake and it truly was the best borscht…

      • Cheers to your dear Grandma! Her borscht was famous at the Yale for years! The last time we stopped on our way through it was not nearly as good, we hadn’t been there in years. They said they were training a new cook. This recipe sounds very much like the one my Dukhabour friends make.

    • Hi Jaz,
      I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that as I’ve never tried. I probably wouldn’t try, either as you’d be increasing the water content by a huge degree.

      If you give it a go, let me know how it turns out!

  • I just made this. I swapped out the whipping cream for coconut milk though, but it turned out amazing!!! This borsht is absolutely delicious. When I was younger I refused to eat borsht because I thought it looked gross… so many years wasted!!!

  • I made this soup today and must say it took a lot of doctoring up to make it palatable. First it needed about 5 cloves of garlic, some garlic powder, salt and pepper, and it still is far from tasting like a good soup that I make when I follow the recipes for Ukrainian Borscht. Maybe I expected too much of it but in my estimation, you cannot beat Ukrainian Borscht which starts with pork ribs, cooked with the necessary garlic, dill and other spices then topped off with sour cream. My wife kept after me to change the recipe but I wouldn’t. I wanted to follow it exactly. I can see now that she knew what she was talking about. Sure wish I could have made a good soup today but I will next time because it will be Ukrainian borscht.

    • Hi Don,

      Sorry you had such a negative experience with the soup but a vegetarian soup will naturally taste quite a bit different than something that is based on pork. I can assure you this is an authentic recipe from Grand Forks that has been loved for years. To each their own!

      • If Donald wanted Ukrainian Borscht – why was he making Doukhobor Borscht? There is no comparison except that there are vegetable in both of them. That would be like wanting a vegetable Chinese food dish and complaining because the Mexican Fajita’s didn’t taste as good.

  • I was delighted to find this recipe πŸ™‚ I thought I’d have to go back to Grand Forks–probably 12 hours from here. I had the soup there in the early 90’s; it rated among my top 3 favourite soups in the world.
    I made a very acceptable Volynian (German/Ukrainian) borscht today and then saw your recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight and missed the part about it being a full batch so looks like we have soup for a while. The only thing that confused me was the part about the potatoes. I understand there are 6 potatoes and 3 go into the soup stock. The other 3 are diced but are they cooked or raw? I also added a few more beets because I thought it didn’t look red enough but when I came back to the computer and saw your picture yours is not too red either. Oh well, it still tastes great thanks again.

  • Hey Reb! I got a giant box of veggies (locally-grown) earlier this week and have a cabbage the size of a large cat and a giant bag of beets. So of course I decided to make borscht. Your recipe comes up pretty high on the Google results. πŸ™‚

  • made your borscht today ,used all fresh vegetables including boiled down tomatoes
    it was just like my mother nastia holoboff [maiden name] used to make .never liked the ukranian version ,even though they claim it is the original.it was the best. spaciba.

  • Have a pot of the borscht on the stove right now. I followed the recipe except I did not add any diced potatoes, just the mashed taters that were boiled in the stock. There is lots and I cannot wait to taste!

  • I have made your Doukhobor Borscht and it is very, very good! Perfect for this time of year. I had been hearing of this version from an ex who lived in the Kootenays, as he preferred the one that is not “beet-heavy”. Thank you so much for posting this!


  • I also have good memories of trips through Grand Forks and bowls of the Borsht at the old Yale Hotel. I actually found the recipe in a KIRO recipe book (Seattle radio station fundraiser book) and it is very much like what Kathryn Grant described as well. It is fantastic…and worth all the work!!!

  • I made this borscht this week, as per my husband’s request. He grew up in the West Kootenays (not too far from Grand Forks). We try to bring jars of borscht back every time we visit, as it is such a treat from the area. Low and behold, he said this borscht was the best he’s ever had. Awesome recipe. A keeper, for sure. Next time we visit the Kootenays, we are going to bring the borscht!

    • Hello Rebecca! I have been making this recipe for several years. I call it Castlegar Airport Borscht because that is where I enjoy it each and every time I fly into Castlegar (weather permitting, as you probably know).
      I had been preparing it based on taste and was so pleased to know that I’d almost got the recipe perfect based on my taste buds. I put more beets in, is all, and green onions rather than an onion.
      Also, I can’t resist a little garlic. Thank you for this!

  • So–I finally made the Doukabor borscht–it was yummy but not exactly what I remembered. Maybe our (my husbands and mine) memories have morphed over the decades. We’ve decided it was a long time ago–probably the late 70’s or 80’s not 90’s.

    This is what I do remember: a cold damp day, a cozy dining room–it may have had a fire–with the love of my life–prior to the distraction of kids–and having this absolutely amazing soup. We don’t know where it was–Castlegar? Grandforks? Nelson? We had gone to a building that had a Doukabor exhibit–I think they told us where to go for the soup. So my quest for the ultimate borscht is not over. Poor me, I’ll have to try some wherever I get the chance πŸ™‚

    To address the fresh tomato question: your ancestors and mine used home grown tomatoes. I vaguely remembered that one doesn’t generally want tomato skins in soups and sauces–they are tough and don’t disintegrate into a sauce. To get the skins off you plunge them into boiling water for 30 seconds or so and then into cold water. The skins then slip off easily. Fill a jar or measuring cup with skinned tomatoes to the right amount and add water or tomato juice to the top of the tomatoes. At this stage you would can them but for borscht you can just use them right away. This is equivalent to canned.

    Because my husband really likes Ukrainian borscht–the most common one here in central Alberta and the one he would have grown up with, I cooked some several times before I made the Doukabor borscht. Although he is a committed carnivore all the cream and butter does make this soup very attractive to him πŸ™‚

  • Ah! This is exactly what I was looking for! I’ve been going to Grand Forks and eating the borscht there since I was little. Thank you!

  • I grew up doukhabor. This is a very nice recipe.
    Each home has it’s own version of it. All similar.
    However I felt like Oleg when I tasted Ukranian borscht.
    I love what I grew up with. All other borscht is odd to me.
    This for me is the taste of my home. Served w fresh bread,
    Tons of cut veggies and cheese. Thanks for posting!

  • I grew up eating this as my mother’s side of the family were Doukhobor Russians. This looks exactly like the soup I loved so much as a child and I intend to make it this weekend. Thanks so much for posting this!

  • I used to live in Slocan BC where there is a large concentration of Doukhobors so needless to say we ate a lot of borscht πŸ™‚ Yours is the closest to theirs I have seen – although quite often they added beef or pork. I am definitely going to try your recipe. Thanks!

  • This borscht so far looks like what my grandmother used to make when she was alive. I and my youngest daughter will be enjoying soon . : )

  • Made some tonight by following the recipe exactly, except for using red peppers instead of green. Tastes absolutely amazing and is just like how I remember it from the Grand Forks Hotel and the Borscht Bowl!

    Here is a picture of the batch:

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  • This looks very similar to my Baba’s borscht. At my Deda’s funeral (Paul Samsonoff) in Castlegar the ladies used over 120 lbs of butter!

  • The saying goes that there are as many recipes for Doukhobor borscht as their are doukhobor cooks. My recipe came from a Doukhobor cookbook printed in Grand Forks BC many years ago and closely resembles yours. I make the full recipe and either freeze it or can it. It freezes and cans well. I understand the Doukhobors are vegetarian and I understand that the Ukrainian borscht has more beets and no cabbage.

  • Love this recipe and I may be going to Grand Forks in a few weeks so I’ll look for the musuem that houses the recipe. That will be so much fun!

  • oh wow, can’t wait to try this! We just visited the Borscht Bowl this past weekend πŸ™‚ We were blown away by the borscht. So happy to find your recipe!

  • Our car broke down in Grand Forks in 1976 and we had to spend 5 days there waiting for parts. I fell in love with the Doukabour borscht and bought a cookbook while there with the recipe. I made the soup often until a dubious neighbour stole the cookbook. Having been raised on Polish/Ukrainian borscht (chicken stock, beets, carrot, potatoe, onion and cabbage but no meat), I found this a delightful change. In my many years, I have found that borscht recipes abound from household to household and county to country. I do remember the abundance of butter and cream, which makes it so delicious. I am ever so grateful to have found this recipe again. One of the local farmers markets has a vendor that sells fresh farm cream – yum!

  • Does anyone have the recipe from the Yale Hotel? Can you share it please? I used to have it. My mom bought it from the hotel back in the early 80’s before it burned down. Somehow I lost that recipe. So sad.

      • Greetings Dug:
        I have heard so much about the borscht from the Grand Forks Hotel that burnt. I would appreciate so much to have it also. We were just at Grand Forks, 8/25/16, and had the Doukabor borscht at the Omega Restaurant and now I wish to make it.
        Thanking you in advance,

        • Greetings Dug:
          I have heard so much about the borscht from the Grand Forks Hotel that burnt. I would appreciate so much to have it also. We were just at Grand Forks, 8/25/16, and had the Doukabor borscht at the Omega Restaurant and now I wish to make it.
          Thanking you in advance,

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  • Well, I grew up in Grand Forks…. and this is fairly similar to the Doukhabour borscht that I grew up with. Minus the beets. Minus the sour cream. A must would be the thick slice of homemade bread with LOTS of butter on it, to eat with the borscht.

  • I forgot to add… never in all my life have I ever heard about Doukhabours being called Russian Christians. They have some similar beliefs, but they are not Christians. Sorry!

    • Excuse me. If not Christian then what. The name itself means “Christian Spirituality”. Certainly they are not Jews, Muslims, Hindus or whatever.

    • Doukhobors were, and are, Christians, although for some the meaning of that has changed from Savior to wise teacher. Doukhobor borscht indeed contains beets; it’s what gives the soup the orange color when it’s combined with the rich butter/cream soup “stock.” Doukhobors were traditionally vegetarian, so there is never meat in any traditional Doukhobor recipe. Doukhobors have been so assimilated into the mainstream that perhaps the only thing left is the nostalgic tug of food from childhood, made by a loving “baba” (short for babushka, emphasis on the first syllable: BAbushKA; secondary emphasis on third syllable. A baBUSHka is the anglicized term referring to the kerchief itself often worn by Eastern European women peasants in the early 20th century.)

  • So…I don’t care what they are, they make damn good borscht. I dumped all of my recipe books before my big move and forgot to copy out my Doukhobor Borscht recipe. Thank you for saving me from a borshtless life.

    • Hi Sandra:

      I have made this recipe for a couple of years now, but it makes way too much for my wife and I. So, I put the leftovers in a ziplock baggie and bring it out whenever we want to warm up and eat hardy. I always put the cream in as the recipe calls for during the initial cooking, but usually add a dollop of sour cream at serving.

      Some Doukhobor`s may differ with me, if their reasoning is sound — go with it.

  • Omg, what was I thinking? I didn’t half the recipe. Looking at the ingredients it didn’t look like that much but boy oh boy I will be eating borscht til the cows come home. That’s alright though, it smells delicious. I just hope it freezes well. πŸ™‚

  • This is it! Just like grandma Polly (Woykin) of Grandforks made! (she never wrote it down). She was a true Russian Doukhobor. So happy to see this . Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Great soup! We did modify a little bit, used sour cream instead of whipping, a butt load more dill and I made a chicken broth for a base in stead of water.

    Thank you for the great recipe! Yes I have been to the Borscht bowl, I highly recommend it! Also go to West end global market and deli for some of there jarred borscht while in Grand Forks!

    Thanks again

  • I love the vegetarian borsht. Lived in Castlegar for a few years and also was in Grand Forks many times. It is vegetarian. My sister in law was Ukaranian and she used pork and it was a clear broth with lots of beets. Still prefer the Doukabor one. Making it tomorrow and freezing some for the winter. We grew all the ingredients and will be making the BIG batch. Hubby will be helping with the chopping and eating.

  • I made this today – it was really good; my hubby and one year old son loved it. Nice fall comfort food. I too have lived in the Kootenays and have had the “real” thing in Castlegar and Grand Forks, and this follows very close. A couple suggestions: putting the yield would be helpful – this makes A LOT of soup!! I would have halved the recipe if I knew just how much it would make. It filled my 8 quart stock pot nearly to the top! The other thing that I would have liked to know is that when you add the cream and then the initial stew, the whole thing looks like it curdled. I had a moment of panic when I thought I had spent all that time and wasted all that food. But I stuck with it, and after boiling, it no longer looked like it had gone off. Thanks for the recipe – I will be making this again in a few years, once I’ve finished eating the leftovers from this batch!! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Reb, I don’t usually post on sites that ask for my E address, but I had to in this case. I am not very well versed in Doukhobor history, but have had borscht from my lovely Doukhobour neighbour. She is in her 80″s and a purebread workhorse. This recipe of yours turned out FANTASTIC first time. Thank you sooooo much for sharing, I really appreciate it. Now time to get the Dexter like beet spatter off my laptop;)



  • Does anybody have a guesstimate of how many portions this full recipe would serve by any chance? I’ve read that it makes “alot”… but I have about 50 to feed! Thanks.

  • I’m making this right now. It’s smelling so good. It is the anniversary of our kids’ adoption in Ukraine. Every year I want to make an authentic Ukrainian meal.

  • My entire family was Russian/German/Ukrainian (Mennonite) and we grew up in Manitoba. Our borscht was like this, but we either used beets or cabbage, not both. There was summer borscht and regular borscht. The potatoes weren’t mashed and we didn’t grate carrots (just sliced them), but yes to the cream and if desired, the dollop of sour cream on top. Now that you jogged my memory, I have to make this πŸ™‚ I love the idea of dill and/or bay leaf. It looks scrumptious and brings back a lot of memories (especially when served with fresh white or pumpernickel bread). Hmm…come to think of it, I do have a cabbage in the crisper…. Thanks for bringing your authentic recipe to life and allowing us to share our embellishments and memories.

  • My very 1st borscht was beet with beef made by Canadian Russian friend back in the 60’s. Had many borschts at the Yale then the Grand Forks Hotel. My daughter makes the Doukhobor style from a recipe given her by a descendant from the Kootenays. I LOVE any home cooked foods – so whatever! any kind of borscht is fine with me!! Will love them all!

  • The borscht bowl in grand forks doesn’t make a proper borscht however we found out that Jogas espresso cafΓ© in grand forks uses the same recipe that the Yale hotel once used as the owners mother used to work there.

  • Am I the only person here who adds a splash of vinegar/lemon juice/lime juice to the bowl along with the sour cream? I know it wasn’t my idea originally … and I think my recipe has Ukrainian roots!

  • This is just cabbage soup, try adding in the required neck bones, rock salt, and triple the beets, yours isn’t even red, and best to shred cabbage n beets, just my opinion, every version is good !

  • Yay. Thank you. I misplaced my mother’s recipe from an old Doukabor recipe book and have been trying to find something similar and aside from her recipe calling for me to shrink the cabbage down by frying it in yet more butter this seems very close with the combo of diced and grated veg. Can’t wait to try it this weekend.

  • I live in Grand Forks, and this recipe is quite authentic for the Russian Doukhobors here. There is a variance as there would be for a regional dish anywhere. But generally, the ingredients listed here are the same ones I see in my bowl of Borscht at The Borscht Bowl, Jogas or at Omega II.
    My favorite bowl of Borscht if from The Borscht Bowl, made by an authentic Doukhobor, owner Becky Fofonoff, who won first place at this years first annual Borscht Cook Off.

  • I was fortunate to acquire my recipe from the cook at the Yale Hotel in Grand Forks and also from a beautiful friend, Vera Kinakin. Both ladies made the best borscht I have ever tasted. The method differs here also the ingredients, but to each his own. I’m sure this is good as well. There are different verities ie; Wedding borscht. Which is different in texture.

  • I grew up in Grand Forks. I made 22 litres of this borscht yesterday and it reminded me totally of the Yale Hotel borscht and all the Doukhobor borscht I ate growing up. The only thing I added was some fresh garlic. I put the beets in just for flavour and colour so just quartered them and removed at end. Must use fresh dill! Now I am baking bread to go with the borscht for dinner. Live in Australia now but always a treat to have some Russina food. Awesome and thanks for posting.

  • Thanks for posting! I’m living abroad at the moment, and am craving the flavour of my childhood in the Kootenays. I’m so exctied to make this for dinner. xo

  • Hey I actually come from that little town grand forks and know the recipe your talking about! I can’t believe someone on the internet went to our little town and used a recipe from it! Your recipe is the first to pop up for how to make Doukhobor Borscht!!

  • I made it, I love it!
    I am sure in any ethnic group, there is some variation from one cook to another. Why dicker, is my opinion!
    I learned about the Doukabors on a trip to Grand Forks. I live in Michigan.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • My grandmother lives in Christina Lake and she made this version of Borscht. It was my favourite and I’ve been looking for the recipe. I can’t wait to try this one! Thank you!

  • Having been born a Uke and having much experience with Borscht I feel compelled to say this. There is no such thing as Russian, Ukrainian or Doukabor Borscht… There is only Borscht.. and several Thousand different ways to make it.. it was originally made from Hogweed or fermented Rye.. Borscht is literally what ever you throw into a pot to make soup.. Its delicious and that’s all it is meant to be. I have eaten similar soups to the recipe here in Russia, the Ukarain and in Poland. I have had chilled versions in Slovakia and pickled root versions.. its just a damn good soup made the way whoever is making it likes it! My own mother has probably never made a pot of Borscht the same way twice… She is right off the turnip boat from the Ukraine, My Baba from Poland adds fish to beat Borscht in the winter and only makes borscht with cabbage and potato in the summer… I think its silly to debate who owns what version of this soup..

    my 0.02

  • Thank You so much for the delicious borscht recipe.I try many different ones but nothing like this one , I try this delicious borscht in castelgar airport restaurant , my mother in law use to make it but never ask for the recipe she passed away. I went to potluck and of course i made borsch ,since there were some Russians friend I did no tell them it was borsch , they love it , they ask me were I got the recipe . And I toll them ( Life nostalgic ) I’m just so amassing you can make something so delicious whitout meat . I’m from Bolivia we are a meat eaters than you again
    La flaca & el gordo

  • We also ate a lot of this borscht at the Yale Hotel when we were children. I’d like to try making it and am wondering if it can be frozen or canned?

  • There are many types of Borscht . It depends from what region of Europe your ancestors came from.I come from a little town in Alberta and the area is known as “Little Kiev . One Grandma made Borscht one way and the other another way. Some made it with spareribs and others didn’t To make it sour tasting some added rhubard stems to it . So you see not all Borscht are the same. So you make it to your own liking. I made this Borscht and because can’t use onion I found it lacked flavour. So I started to add ingredients to add the flavour I like. So yes the Borscht is good.

  • firstly, lets have a lesson here on the word itself….. The English word borscht, also spelled borsch, borsht, or bortsch, comes from Yiddish Χ‘ΧΦΈΧ¨Χ©Χ˜ (borsht). So, spelling is irrelevant. There are more variations of this type of soup than there are borscht-eating villages in all of the world. Ukranian, Russian, Doukhobor, Mennonite….the list goes on. Then the argument of beets or no beets….summer or winter borscht….my father, a doukhobor, grew up on beet borscht, my mother, a mennonite, grew up on a Mennonite summer borscht…no beets. grandmother sometimes put turkey meat in hers but usually not. So, not only are there cultural or regional differences, there are difference within each family and each cook!! And they are all good soups!!!!!!!

  • This is slightly different from the recipe my mother was given many years ago, for the Borscht served at the Grand Forks Hotel. Her recipe has less tomatoes, one more potato, more carrots, green onions, and twice as much butter. The beet is cut in half and placed in the bottom of the pot, and discarded later. Speaking as one who ate there several times on our way through Grand Forks, I don’t recall there being any sign of grated beet in the Borscht I ate there. This is her recipe:

    Russian Borscht

    This is the recipe used by the Doukhobor ladies at the Yale Hotel in Grand Forks, BC many years ago. It’s a cabbage based Borscht that only uses a beet as a flavouring agent. Best Borshct I’ve ever had!


    1 – 28 oz. can tomatoes
    1 medium beet
    1 medium cabbage
    1 medium onion
    7 potatoes
    5 carrots
    4 green onions
    1 green pepper
    1/2 pint cream
    1 lb. butter
    Chopped dill weed
    Salt and pepper to taste
    4 1/2 quarts boiling water


    In large pot put water and peeled beet cut in half.
    Add 1/4 can tomatoes.
    Put rest of tomatoes in frying pan and saute with 1/4 lb. butter.
    Peel and quarter 6 potatoes and boil in separate pot.
    In another frying pan add 1/4 lb. butter, 3/4 of the cabbage, and chopped green onion, and fry gently.
    When potatoes are cooked, drain and mash, and add remaining butter and cream.
    Grate the carrots, cut up remaining potato, and shred remaining cabbage.
    Remove beet.
    Add mashed potatoes, raw carrots and potatoes and cabbage, as well as all remaining vegetables.
    Add some chopped dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
    Simmer for a few hours.

  • I made a big batch of this last weekend, and it’s seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. The only thing I’ve had like this before was at Granville’s coffee in Quesnel, BC. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • Thank you thank you! I bought all the stuff the other day, went home and discovered I have lost my recipie. Grew up in Castlegar and have been wanting to make this for awhile. Can’t wait to dig in!

  • Had borscht in Grand Forks a few years ago, cant remember restaurant but love borscht. Have used other recipes but am definitely trying out this one. Love sour cream in mine, thank you

  • Made this today and was hoping it had the taste I was looking for. It’s exactly the recipe I’ve been trying to find. Both my husband and I loved it. He helped me with the preparations a bit as I was getting confused with the two different pots. It is worth the effort as far as I’m concerned. Thank you.

  • Thank you so very much for this recipe! I am Russian living in Seattle, USA. I was not familiar with Doukhobor culture and their cooking, but I met a woman whose father was (or is) one of the leaders in Doukhobor community in Vancouver, Canada. I was so fascinated with their story that I started reading all I could find online, and I found your recipe as well. I made it twice, and my family LOVES it! I am fascinated that it is made with cream – I’ve never heard of creamy borscht before. But there are TONS of recipes of borscht, not only local popular recipes, but every family has their own preferences, so there are literally thousands RIGHT WAYS to make borscht. πŸ™‚ This is an amazing, amazing recipe, and I appreciate so much that you shared it with us! Beautiful, playful photos, and you wrote everything down in a clear, easy to understand way. THANK YOU! Π‘ΠŸΠΠ‘Π˜Π‘Πž! πŸ™‚

  • Made this today. It’s wonderful! Ive read the reviews/comments and nobody seems to know how long in the hot-water bath if you can some of it.
    I used the food processor and shredded the beets and cabbage, which cut the prep time considerably. It’s almost as good as the Yale Hotel – yes we’ve been there too. Another great restaurant borscht is at the Sunshine CafΓ© in Castlegar.

    • I believe that canning borscht safely would require a pressure canner since it is not acidic enough to be processed safely in a water bath. There is excellent canning information available on line.

  • Hello Vera, I grew up in British Columbia, Canada. I remember the horrible discrimination oppression & agression the Dukaboars suffered. Their children were taken from them. The parents camped on the grounds of the parliament buildings. They were one of the first that I knew of, to practice passive objection. Their belief at that time, anyway is that they are pacifists & would never physically fight. They really upset the status quo when they marched naked. Put the uptight parliament members in a tizzy. My cousin marched with them. They went to court about their children but remained silent. My mother went to the court as an observer. She asked them why they remained silent. She was told, & I remember this quote so clearly bcs as an adult I found it to be so true ” there is no point in speaking bcs nothing we say will make any difference. I was in high school & I tried to explain what was happening to my class. The teacher called me a “duke lover”. That was the accepted open hostility & discrimination that was accepted at the time. I think it was the early 60’s. This was Canada. We tend to think Canadians can do no wrong. But I was there. It was wrong. My family are not Dukhabors but my family recognized oppression & called it as we saw it. Since that time, I have never heard what happened to them. what happened to the children. Where are they now? I was looking for the recipe for Dukhabor borsht (which I remember as yummy) & it set me to wondering. I never knew the outcome.When I saw your name Vera, I had to ask you to bring me up to date. I know this is about recipes rather than history. Maybe its the wrong place for this discussion. If so, pls email me caringpro@gmail.com. btw, I seem to remember my mother putting the beef top leaves into the borsht. I don’t remember if that is true or maybe I was told you don’t put the leaves in bcs they are poisoness. Pls correct me on this. Thx PUppy love Inventing Joy & furry folk

  • Oh this sounds so yummy I’m.hoping its close the my friends families recipe from gf sounds like it. Now just to find the recipe for their Dukaboar perogie. I cannot remember what they call them pr how ota spelled. I think something like veranican lol I’m trying 😊 but made with cottage cheese. Omg sooo delicious.

  • My mom and I stopped at Yale on road trip to Kimberly to help my grandmother over 20 years ago. Thrilled to have recipe. Best soup ever.

  • Hi – thank you for this recipe! I made another one last year called “Uncle Bill’s Doukhoubor Borscht” – and we laughed at how many steps there were. I think yours is at least as good if not better and doesn’t take quite so much time and changing pots. Anyhow my house smells great….so thanks again. Love the photo of you in the babuschka πŸ˜‰ And yeah, I wrote “The Book of Kale” plus another book….in case you’ve heard of it. I did not put kale in this haha. But I did add scarlet runner beans chopped up towards the end. When I had borscht in Grand Forks I seem to remember it had peas in it but that was a LONG time ago!!

  • I’m going to give this a try this week. My grandma is Czech and this is the closest I’ve found to her version. Hope it tastes similar.

    As for the haters, there are tons of borscht recipes. It all depends on where you are from.

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