In my travels this summer, I flew in to Castlegar, BC. Castlegar is located in the West Kootenay region of BC, nestled at the base of the Selkirk Mountains. I found out on the final approach in the "JAZZ" prop plane that if the pilot can't see the airport, they return to Vancouver. So the nickname for this airport was called "CANCELGAR". We seemed to graze the treetops on the mountains and I was quite relieved when the plane literally dropped into the airport.
At the airport restaurant there, I had the most delicious stew. I have never been a fan of borscht, but this stew was different. It is a meal in a bowl! The West Kootenays has a heavy concentration of families of Doukhobor ancestry, from So Russian and the Ukraine. Many Doukhobors are vegetarians and have a rich tradition of hearty cooking. This recipe is from one of their recipe books.
I had a craving for it the other night and whipped up a batch. Just in case any of you would like to taste this, too, I included the recipe here:
CASTLEGAR BORSCHT (revised)
1 Tbl butter
1 onion chopped
3 cups diced canned tomatoes
1/3 cup green pepper chopped
1/3 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
4 cups finely grated cabbage (used “classic cole slaw”)
3 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chicken broth seasoning
4 med potatoes, peeled and halved
2 potatoes diced
1/3 cup carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup beets diced
1 cup tomato or V8 juice
1/3 cup cream ( used fat free)
1/3 cup sour cream(reduced fat)
Melt butter in large kettle. Add onions and cook at low heat for 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, peppers, dill and cabbage. Cook at moderate heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid browning. Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes, carrots and beets, and return to a boil. Add tomato juice. Simmer until potatoes are cooked. Remove the halved potatoes and mash with cream. Combine both mixtures and season to taste.