Family Food

My sister has a borscht recipe from an amazing Russian cook that she passed to me. Our grandma was Russian Jew (what is now Odessa, Ukraine).  As kids, we use to eat soup with Cottage Cheese in it because that’s that way my Dad ate it.  I remember our friends asking us how in the world we ever thought of eating cottage cheese in soup…. and now I know how we thought of it.

In Ukraine where Grandma was from, Borscht is eaten with sour cream – and is sometimes served with Syrnyky which are cottage cheese fritters. Grandma was a young child when she was orphaned, but her taste buds must have remembered good food:)  She did have some relatives she would visit later from the same place who most likely cooked this way as well.  It’s amazing how much of what we eat follows the family line.  The borscht I made has an amazing lot of vegetables in it for kids to enjoy, but our kids LOVE it and want me to make another pot today.  Here’s a picture of my Grandma  with my Grandpa.

0091-Joseph P Boyl & Naomi Boyl (Devorsef )-Probably Just Married in New York NY- About 1918

Here is the recipe.  Thank you Sis, for sharing it!!


Get out any food processor you might have, and your Bullet if you use one.. and lots of pans.  Make a giant vegi-mess and have fun!  You will be rewarded:)

Potatoes (should fill up a 1/3 of the pot with potatoes) pealed and chopped

Cabbage (red) – 1 head – grate

Celery – 1 bunch – chop fine

Tomatoes – 2-4 – peel and chop

1 large can pealed, chopped tomatoes

Carrots – 3-4 large – grate or finely chop

Beet – 1-3 – grate

Green, Red or Yellow Pepper  1-3 – chop fine

Onion 1-2 – chop fine or grate

Green Onion- 1 bunch – chop

Dill- Fresh or dried – LOTS – chop fine

Italian Parsley -The entire bunch – chop fine

Garlic – 2-4 cloves – chop fine or whiz (I use my Bullet)

Bay Leaves – whole

Zergut Mild Ajvar – 1 TBS or so (is not required, I did not use, but is sold in Russian Market if you want to try it.)

Olive Oil for Sauteing


Peel, chop and cover with very salty water the potatoes in separate pan.  Cook on low – do not get to boil, and leave cooking until ready to add

Part of onion and all of beet saute in small fry pan with olive oil

Saute remaining onions in large fry pan with olive oil

When golden, add carrots, peppers and celery

After sauting awhile, add garlic, then fresh tomatoes and saute

Add already cooked beets/onions, the can of tomatoes. Saute

Then add cabbage and saute

Pour all (including potatoes) to large (I mean giant) soup pan

Add bay leaves, dill, Italian parsley and green onions.  Boil for 2 to 3 more min.s

(If you choose to add Zergut Mild Ajvar – do so)

Salt to taste.

Serve with sour cream – or cottage cheese:)  And heavy bread.. especially dark rye.




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