Borscht Russian Doukhabor Style
This recipe is my mother’s who originally got it from my grandmother on my father’s side. My dad’s parents were born and raised in Russia near Tblisi but because of their refusal to take up arms, they were persecuted. The origin of the name Doukhabor means “Spirit Wrestlers”. In the late 1800’s they became vegetarians so that is why this recipe does not have meat as the base. Leo Tolstoy was a sympathizer and raised funds for the Doukhabors to immigrate to Canada in1899. They settled in B.C. and Alberta and it is estimated that there are approximately 40,000 world wide.
1 large onion diced
2 Tbsp oil or butter
1 large can diced tomatoes (500g)
1 small can tomato paste
1-2 cloves garlic
3 medium potatoes
3 medium beets
½ head of cabbage
2 cups cauliflower florets (optional)
2 Veg/beef/chicken cubes
4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 cup 35% cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, sauté the onions in the oil or butter till they turn translucent, Add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes to reduce the liquid and intensify the tomato flavour. Add the tomato paste and set aside.
In the meantime dice the vegetables and cover with water. Boil till they are tender. Drain the water but reserve it. Partially mash the vegetables and add the cream. Return to the large pot and add the reserved vegetable water. Add the tomato mixture and the stock cubes. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Finely shred the cabbage and divide the florets to bit sized pieces adding them to the mixture. Cook for 20 minutes till cabbage and cauliflower are tender. Season to taste and add the dill. Add more water if the soup is too thick.
Serve with sour cream.