Doukhobor Borscht

We spent 2 years living in Castlegar, BC – Doukhobor territory – and I was determined to leave there with the best authentic borsch recipe I could.  Here it is – written out in this format so that you follow each step exactly.   This is a very rich, creamy and delicious version of Borscht – nothing at all like the beet borscht. 

It is a labour of love to make, but you will be so glad you did it.  Perfect for a rainy or cold day when you are going to be inside anyway!

Boil 2 ½ quarts of water in large stock pot.  Add ½ can tomatoes.  When water is boiling, add 1 tbsp salt, drop in 5 or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half.  Add ½ cup each of grated carrot and beet, and 1 medium onion, finely chopped.

While this is cooking, get yourself another large pot or cast iron pan – melt 3 tbsp butter and add ¾ cup finely chopped onion and let sauté for a few minutes until very soft and translucent – but DO NOT brown.  Add 3 cups of canned tomatoes, and let simmer until it becomes a thick sauce.  (Cooking this well removes the acid from the tomatoes so your cream won’t curdle)

Into yet another frying pan melt 3 tbsp butter and add 2 cups shredded cabbage.  Saute but do not brown.  Allow to cook until cabbage is soft and tender.  Shred another 2 cups of cabbage to add (raw) to the borscht later.

When potatoes are tender, remove them to a large bowl, add 2 tbsp butter and mash well until they are nice and creamy – slowly adding 1 small carton of cream.  Mix well and set aside.

Add 1 1/2 cup diced raw potatoes to stockpot and ½ of the tomato sauce mixture along with 2 tbsp butter.  When diced potatoes are tender add the uncooked shredded cabbage and bring to boiling point, but DO NOT BOIL!!  When cabbage is tender, add the fried cabbage, the rest of the tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.  Add ½ cup chopped fresh green pepper and black pepper to taste.

The finishing touch is stirring in some chopped fresh dill.

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a dill sprig for garnish.  We like this with piping hot biscuits right out of the oven.


Ringo En Orchard started as an apple orchard, and as times change, so does the land use!  We are so lucky to live here – beautiful apples, peaches and nectarines on the trees along with amazing fruit and vegetables growing right out the back door.   Eaten fresh all through the late summer and fall, this is a superb way of producing that delicious taste right through until they are fresh again.

16 cups peeled tomatoes (blend 4 cups, dice 12 cups)

9 cups mixed mixed colored peppers, finely diced

6 cups finely diced onions

2 cups jalapeno peppers, diced (if you like it spicy, leave the seeds in)

6 cobs of corn, corn removed

I chop some of the vegetables in the food processor, (i.e., tomatoes, jalapenos and onions) but a lot of the peppers, and some of the tomatoes I like to do by hand so I can see the little bits of peppers in my salsa! 

4 cups cider vinegar

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans 5.5 oz tomato paste

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp kosher salt

4 tsp smoked sweet paprika

2 tsp oregano

Use a large, heavy saucepan so things don’t stick.

Combine all ingredients in pan and bring it to a boil, stirring enough so it doesn’t stick.  Once it does you will have a hard time keeping it from getting worse!  Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow it to simmer for about an hour – this will allow it to thicken up a bit.


Put into hot sealing jars and process in hot water bath for 20 minutes.