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Modern borscht

The roasted cabbage adds extra umami to the stunningly pink soup, and transforming dill into a quick oil makes everything pop when it comes to serving. This is not your baba’s borscht! 



Dill Oil

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed canola oil
  • Splash pickle brine (or apple cider vinegar)


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups diced peeled russet potatoes
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pickled beets
  • 4 cups vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pickled beet juice
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Salt
  • ¼ small red cabbage, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • Canola oil, for drizzling
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp homogenized milk


Dill Oil

  1. Combine the dill, oil, and pickle brine in a blender and purée to emulsify. Transfer to a bowl until ready to serve.


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. The potatoes will soften slightly. Add the beets, broth, water, beet juice, and dried dill and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are fork-tender.
  2. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and cook for 15 minutes more on low heat to allow the flavours to mingle. The soup can stay warm on the stove while you roast the cabbage.

Roasted Red Cabbage

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Lay the cabbage pieces in an even layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, and season with the salt. Roast until the cabbage is tender and notably browned on top with crispy edges, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving with the soup.


  1. Ladle the soup into bowls. Combine the sour cream and milk in a small bowl and use a spoon to drizzle it over top of the soup. 
  2. Drizzle the dill oil over top as well, and garnish with the roasted cabbage. Serve and enjoy! The soup can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to one week in sealed containers. Store the soup components (soup, cabbage, dill oil, and cream mixture).

Excerpted from Prairie by Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell. Copyright © 2023 Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell. Photographs by Dong Kim. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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