The culinary adventures of a 20-something woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

The culinary adventures of a 20-something year old woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup

           A few years ago, I went backpacking across Europe with my dear friend Hayley. One of our stops was Prague, where ALL meals contained either cabbage, potato, or beef. And often, a combination of all three. For one of our meals, I had a delicious cabbage & beef soup, that was tangy and sweet all at the time. It was absolutely marvelous and I vowed to learn how to make it once I got home.
          Well, that was two years ago. Better late then never? This cabbage soup recipe is very similar to the meal I had in Prague, and I'm sorry that I have forgotten about it until now. The best part? Its both simple and inexpensive to make, like many Eastern European foods are.
        Although the cooking time is about 1-2 hours, don't be scared - it requires very little actual cooking work, just a lot of simmering. And besides - the wait is definitely worth it - this is one of the best soups I have had in a long time.


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground lean beef
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts water, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges


  1. Brown the ground beef and onion in a large pot. Add the diced tomatoes, beef bouillon cubes, carrots, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Pour in 1 quart of water, and bring to a boil. Stir to break up the beef while heating. Once the soup comes to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  2. Pour in another quart of water, and return to a slow boil. Add garlic and cabbage. Simmer for 25 minutes, until cabbage is tender. Ladle into soup bowls to serve.

Serves 6-8 people.

Note: You can definitely play around with the vinegar/sugar content to suit your personal taste. If you would like the soup to be more sour or tangy, add vinegar, 1 tbsp at a time. If you would like it to be more sweet, add more sugar 1 tbsp at a time.

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