Kootenay Doukhobor Borscht

This recipe is courtesy of Joan Stewart. Thanks!

I received this recipe in the ’60s from my friend Carol Zubick who was born, raised and still lives in Nelson BC. There are many variations to this recipe (some add celery, some shred everything), but this one is still my preferred texture and flavours.

Ingredients

  • 3 Liters water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (less if you prefer)
  • 6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 medium beets, scrubbed clean and cut in half
  • 1 large onion diced (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 large head of cabbage – remove core. Slice cabbage very thin and then small dice/chop (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 cup small-diced carrots (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 green pepper, small-diced (half for frying pan and half for pot)
  • 1 can tomato juice (10 oz.)
  • 1 carton whipping cream (473 ML)
  • 3/4 cup butter  (half for frying pan, half for mashing potatoes)
  • 1 large can quality canned tomatoes (squish/break tomatoes with hands in bowl before adding)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • l/2 cup chopped fresh Dill weed –– pull the fronds from the stem and chop them – the more fresh dill the merrier – a whole cup if you have it
  • salt and pepper to taste

INTO LARGE POT

    add water, salt, half of the onion, beets and potatoes to pot – bring to simmer, partially cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove potatoes from pot with a straining spoon and place them in large bowl (leave pot on heat). Add a good grinding of pepper. Mash potatoes with half of butter and half of whipping cream and green onions. Set aside.

Heat a LARGE FRY PAN/SKILLET

Melt half the butter in the pan. When the butter has melted, add half of the onions, half of the carrots, half of the green pepper and half of the diced cabbage. Stir to coat all with butter. Simmer slowly on low heat until onions are transparent. Add small can of tomato juice, mix well and simmer until cabbage soft.

BACK TO POT

     Once potatoes are removed, add half of the cabbage, half of the carrots and crushed tomatoes to the pot (Add salt and pepper to taste.). Simmer until cabbage is almost tender.

BRING IT ALL TOGETHER

Remove and discard beets (The nutrients, flavour and color are now in broth.) Add the rest of green pepper and continue to simmer until cabbage is tender. Pour the mashed potatoes slowly back into the soup and mix until mashed potatoes are blended. Add mixture from fry pan to pot. Add remaining whipping cream. Add lots of fresh chopped dill. Simmer gently for a few minutes and then turn off heat. Scatter with green onion. Served with fresh baked bread and butter.