Doukhobor Borscht

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

 You will love this healthy vegetarian borscht without beets.  It makes a delicious light meal served with fresh bread or buns and a dollop of sour cream. 


Doukhobor Borscht

So I realize you’re probably looking at this saying that this is not borscht, but yes, it actually is.  There does exist, an almost beetless variety of borscht and this is it. I believe there is also a Mennonite version that uses beef bones and/or broth to make a similar soup, but this one being vegetarian is the Doukhobor variety.  I say almost without beets because you do throw a beet in the pot to cook, but then remove it before serving.  That helps the soup get a pretty, almost pink color to it.


Doukhobor Borscht

All I really know about Doukhobors is that they’re a pacifist religious group who emigrated from Russia.  A lot of them moved to Western Canada in the late 1800 and early 1900, and due to that, many communities in BC, especially in the Kootenays where we live, have wonderful recipes like this borscht passed down.

Now besides the historical aspect of this recipe, it really is a wonderful soup.  It is vegetarian, and very healthy and low in calories due to being filled with vegetables, but it can be a little labor intensive.  In the notes of the recipe I’ve included a few of my “hacks” to get this on the table a little faster.  The original recipe was a little larger, but I scaled it down just a bit.  The recipe does call for 3 pots to be used(which is ideal when working in such large quantities), but you’ll notice I added a work around in the notes, although if possible, I like to use 3 pots anyways.  The original recipe also called for more butter and cream, so if you want to go traditional with the recipe feel free to add more, but since I’m not vegetarian, I usually eat this soup with a little protein so I don’t mind scaling the fat content back a little, and trust me, it tastes just as good.


Doukhobor Borscht

Doukhobor Borscht
Doukhobor Borscht
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Course: Soup
In pot #1:
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 large head of cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic minced
In pot #2:
  • 1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz can tomato sauce, or pureed tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion diced
In pot #3:
  • 2 litres water (8 cups)
  • 3 large potatoes whole
  • 1 small beet peeled
  • 3 large potatoes cubed
  • 4-5 stalks celery diced
  • 3-4 large carrots diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or half and half
  • 1 bunch fresh dill stems removed, and finely chopped
In pot #1:
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the cabbage and onions.  Saute until translucent and the cabbage begins to take on a little color.  Add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking.

In pot #2:
  1. Combine the tomatoes and onion and bring to a boil.  Stew for 30 minutes.

In pot #3:
  1. Be sure to use a large pot.  Add the water to the pot along with the whole potatoes and beet and bring to a boil while preparing the other ingredients.  Once the other ingredients are all chopped add them to the pot to begin to cook. 

  2. Once the whole potatoes are cooked, remove them from the pot into a bowl, add some of the cream and mash thoroughly. Once all the other ingredients in the large pot are cooked, remove the beet and discard(or save for another use) and return the mashed potato to the pot along with the contents of the other pots and the rest of the cream.  If you prefer a thinner soup, you can add a little extra water as well.

  3. Bring up to temperature, careful not to boil as the cream may curdle.  Stir in the dill when heated, and serve hot with fresh bread or buns and a dollop of sour cream.

Recipe Notes

The save a little bit of time, I sometimes use bagged coleslaw mix in place of the cabbage.  I still cut up carrots(although maybe a little less) even though my coleslaw mix has carrots in it.  I'll leave it up to you to decide how much to use, but keep in mind that half of a large head of cabbage is quite a lot, and it cooks down a lot too so use plenty!

As I mentioned in the instructions, I like to start boiling my water, whole potatoes and beet while I'm preparing the other ingredients that don't need as much cooking, this will save time too.

If you'd really rather not use three pots, add the contents of pot #2 to pot #3 and just use two pots.

Doukhobor Borscht


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charlotte Moore January 10, 2018 at

Never heard of this plus I can’t even pronounce it. HAHA!!


2 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 13, 2018 at

Haha, yes it is a bit of a strange name. I’m not sure if it’s the proper way, but I always say it like duke-ah-bore borscht. Don’t let the strange name stop you, it’s super yummy 🙂


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