This RUSSIAN/DOUKHOBOUR BORSCHT originated with my Russian Grandmother who was a vegetarian. Traditionally, the Russian/Doukhobours used about 1 pound of butter and at least 3 cups of whipping cream. I finally was able to make numerous adjustments to the ingredients and then reduce the amount of butter and whipping cream so that the Borscht tastes just as good, but not as rich. The procedure is rather lengthy, but is worth every bit of that time. The Borscht may be canned or frozen in containers. The original Russian Borscht had meat in it and also they used many red beets.
- 22 cups water
- 28 fluid ounces canned tomatoes, including liquid, mashed and divided
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 medium carrots, chopped small
- 2 medium onions, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 medium red beets, scrubbed and cut in half
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 medium onions, chopped small
- 8 cups thinly shredded green cabbage
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubes 1/2-inch
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 large celery ribs, chopped small
- 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons dried dill weed or 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- In a large (8 quart) stock pot, add water and bring to boil.
- Add 1/2 cup of mashed tomatoes, quartered potatoes, chopped carrots, chopped onions, salt and beets and return to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are just cooked.
- Meanwhile, begin to prepare all vegetables.
- When potatoes are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon into a mixing bowl.
- Add 3 tablespoons butter to potatoes, mash well.
- Stir in whipping cream, mixing well to incorporate; set aside.
- In a large frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter, add chopped onions and saute' until just softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add remaining mashed tomatoes and simmer uncovered until reduced to a creamy consistency.
- The sauce will be thickened.
- Cover, reduce heat to keep warm.
- In another large frying pan, melt the remainder 3 tablespoons butter, add 4 cups of shredded cabbage and on medium heat, fry until softened and very lightly browned, about 15 minutes, DO NOT BURN.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- To the cooking pot, add cubed potatoes and 1/2 cup of tomato-onion mixture.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add cauliflower and celery and continue to boil gently until potatoes are just tender.
- Stir in remaining 4 cups of raw shredded cabbage and return soup to boil.
- Reduce heat; stir in mashed potatoes, fried cabbage and remaining tomato-onion mixture.
- Add diced green and red peppers, freshly ground black pepper, dill weed, lemon juice.
- Return to boil and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Cover and reduce heat to just warm and let borscht sit for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
- Remove beets and discard or eat them separately.
- The beets are for coloring only.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- If borscht is too sweet to your liking, stir in some additional lemon juice.
- If desired, serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- Refrigerate any unused portions.
- Traditionally, medium or sharp cheddar cheese pieces and fresh bread or buns are served with the borscht.