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.