Disabled Kitchen Recipe: Instant Pot Doukhobor Borshch

After months of trying to figure how to hack a family recipe, I’ve finally figured out how to make Instant Pot Doukhobor Borshch. Doukhobor Borshch is very different than the borshch you may be familiar with. It doesn’t contain beets — though a beet is used in the process — and it’s vegetarian.

When made on the stove-top, Doukhobor Borschch is very labour-intensive. It takes four (4) frying pans, one (1) large soup pot, and three to four (3 – 4) hours to cook with prep time. If you have chronic fatigue and/or mobility and pain issues like I do, it’s enough to leave you without any spoons for a week.

It’s difficult to say how long it took me in prep time. I had a very stubborn cabbage that didn’t want to be quartered. What I can tell you is that after I was done preparing it, I had spoons to spare and wasn’t all that sore. Cook time was all about hurrying up and waiting for the Instant Pot to do its thing. During the “hurry up and wait”, I took that as an opportunity to lay on my memory foam kitchen mat and do light yoga stretches to relieve back pain. I highly recommend.

I’d say I’ve managed to hack the step to turn this recipe from a “only make once a year” to “medium amount of effort; could probably afford the spoons to make it once a month”.

Hacking this recipe for the Instant Pot was very important to me. You can read why at the end of the recipe.

Instant Pot Doukhobor Borshch Needed Items

  • One 6 qt and one 3 qt Instant Pot, or one 6 qt Instant Pot and one sauce pan
  • Food processor (I use the food chopper attachment on my immersion blender)
  • Food grater with fine holes
  • Stainless-steel bowl
  • Carrot peeler
  • Potato Masher
  • Measuring cups and spoon
  • Mandoline slicer
  • Tongs
  • Cutting boards

*A lot of these items can be found in my shop if you want to know what I use. Or check out 11 Essential Items for a Disability-Friendly Kitchen.

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Disabled Kitchen Recipe: Instant Pot Doukhobor Borshch

A traditonal recipe for Doukhobor Borshch adpated for the Instant Pot.
Servings 12 people
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 6 cups water
  • 5 medium russet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 small beet
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill Or 1 tbsp if using dried dill
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage If you can find it in your grocer without anything else in it, use it! My grocer doesn't sell just plain shredded green cabbage, so I use my Mandoline slicer
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 796 ml can canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • black pepper optional


  • Turn the 3 qt Instant Pot on to Sauté. If using a sauce pan, heat to medium.
  • In a 3 qt Instant Pot or sauce pot, place 60 ml (1/4 cup) butter, 180 ml (3/4 cup) chopped onions, 125 ml (1/2 cup) finely grated carrots and 60 ml (1/4) chopped green peppers into the Instant Pot or sauce pan and sautee until transparent. Do not brown.
  • In the same Instant Pot or sauce pot, Add 1 L (4 cups) of canned crushed tomatoes, 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of chopped onion and simmer until thick.
  • Remove from Instant Pot/Sauce pot by placing it into a container and set aside.
  • In the same Instant Pot or sauce pot, sauté 500 ml (2 cups) of shredded cabbage with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of butter until tender. Do not brown.
  • In the 6 qt Instant Pot, add 1.5 L (6 cups) of water, 15 ml (1 tbsp) of salt, 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped carrots, 4 medium potatoes halved, 1 beet, 60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped celery and 1/2 the sauce from step 4.
  • Set to High Pressure for 10 minutes. Then quick release.
  • Remove the potatoes and mash with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of butter, 125 ml (1/2 cup) of whipping cream, 60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green pepper, 60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green onions, 15 ml (1 tbsp) of fresh dill, then set aside.
  • To the 6 qt Instant Pot add 250 ml (1 cup) cup diced potatoes, 750 ml (3 cups) of shredded cabbage.
  • Set to High Pressure for 5 minutes. Then quick release.
  • Pour the mashed potatoes from step 8 into the Instant Pot, set to High Pressure for 5 minutes then natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of whipping cream, the remainder of the sauce from step 4, the fried cabbage from step 5, 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped green onions, 60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green pepper and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of dill.
  • Discard whole beet. Season to taste with black pepper.
  • Let sit for a few minutes with the Instant Pot lid on before serving to allow flavours to mix. Serve hot.


As an added bonus, serve with cubes of aged cheddar cheese or sour cream, and a sprig of fresh dill.
Author: Jules Sherred
Calories: 299kcal
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Doukhobor
Keyword: High Effort


Nutrition Facts
Disabled Kitchen Recipe: Instant Pot Doukhobor Borshch
Amount Per Serving
Calories 299 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 710mg31%
Potassium 820mg23%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 2714IU54%
Vitamin C 36mg44%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Personal Story about Doukhobor Borshch

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of stability. Part of that instability was four fathers. There were also multiple childhood traumas that resulted in Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (C-PTSS).

While that was not an ideal situation, it did cause me to grow up in a very multicultural environment, for which I am grateful.

My second dad was Doukhobor. As a young child, my summers were spend in Nelson, B.C., at my baba and dedu’s house. Borshch was a staple. I remember my baba spending untold hours making it.

When my mother left my second dad, we would go to the East Kootenay every summer just to enjoy a proper bowl of Borshch in Grand Forks, B.C.

This recipe is very personal to me and I have missed being wrapped in the warm blanket that is this soup. I am so very happy that I found a way to hack Doukhobor Borshch for the Instant Pot, allowing me to enjoy it more than once a year.


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