Uncle Bill's Russian/Doukhobour Borscht

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

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.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large (8 quart) stock pot, add water and bring to boil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of mashed tomatoes, quartered potatoes, chopped carrots, chopped onions, salt and beets and return to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are just cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, begin to prepare all vegetables.
  5. When potatoes are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon into a mixing bowl.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons butter to potatoes, mash well.
  7. Stir in whipping cream, mixing well to incorporate; set aside.
  8. In a large frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter, add chopped onions and saute' until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add remaining mashed tomatoes and simmer uncovered until reduced to a creamy consistency.
  10. The sauce will be thickened.
  11. Cover, reduce heat to keep warm.
  12. 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.
  13. Remove from heat and set aside.
  14. To the cooking pot, add cubed potatoes and 1/2 cup of tomato-onion mixture.
  15. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  16. Add cauliflower and celery and continue to boil gently until potatoes are just tender.
  17. Stir in remaining 4 cups of raw shredded cabbage and return soup to boil.
  18. Reduce heat; stir in mashed potatoes, fried cabbage and remaining tomato-onion mixture.
  19. Add diced green and red peppers, freshly ground black pepper, dill weed, lemon juice.
  20. Return to boil and cook for 3 more minutes.
  21. Cover and reduce heat to just warm and let borscht sit for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
  22. Remove beets and discard or eat them separately.
  23. The beets are for coloring only.
  24. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  25. If borscht is too sweet to your liking, stir in some additional lemon juice.
  26. If desired, serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
  27. Refrigerate any unused portions.
  28. Traditionally, medium or sharp cheddar cheese pieces and fresh bread or buns are served with the borscht.


Most Helpful

ow this is as close to Grand Forks Borscht than any other recipe here. Thank you so much for posting it.

lotusland August 29, 2010

This is a great traditional Doukhobor borscht. Its rich and delish and has just the right flavor, the peppers and cauliflower add just the right touch. For those of you looking for a bright red Russian borscht, obviously this isn't for you. If you want the pale, cabbagey borscht that is famous in the Grand Forks region of BC Canada, then you're at the right page. I've made this recipe four or five times now, and have learned not to deviate from how its written. its a lot of work, a lot of mess, a lot of prep and A LOT of Soup! regardless of how much you think it makes, it won't last long and what you do get into the freezer will eventually thaw out beautifully. I often get together with my sister, and we make a pot together, sharing the duties of chopping veggies and so on, then splitting the pot when we're done. We use my grandmother's biggest stock pot, and it just fits if we don't let it bubble too much towards the end. Thanks Uncle Bill for the great recipe!

verybaddmom October 26, 2009

Now this is real Doukhobor borscht except for the cauliflour.PROPER!

Arabannie February 18, 2003

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a