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