Ukrainian Thick Cabbage Soup



8 to 12 servings



Soup Stock

4 lbs. short ribs
1 meaty shinbone
1-1/2 lb. marrow bones
2 lg. carrots
1 lg. parsnip
9 cups water
3 tbsp. tomato paste or
10-oz can stewed tomatoes
4 sprigs of parsley, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs of dill, 3/4 tsp. thyme, 3-4 whole cloves.
Salt and pepper to taste


3 lbs. green cabbage
3 tbsp. cooking oil
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3 leeks, white part only


3 cups drained sauerkraut
2 cups diced tomatoes
3 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. sugar
Sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh dill, or
dried dillweed


Soup Stock:
Preheat oven to 500°F.

Place the ribs, shinbone, and marrow bones in a large baking pan. Cut the vegetables into quarters and add to the pan. Brown these ingredients in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly. Remove the baking pan from the oven, and put the browned bones into a large stock pot.

Remove the grease from the baking pan; pour 3 cups water into the pan and cook, stirring, over high heat until all the brown bits are loosened. Add this broth to the stock pot with 9 cups of water, tomato, herb bouquet, salt, about 1 Tbsp. and pepper to taste. Bring the broth to a boil, skim, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard the vegetables and the bones, strain broth. Chill the stock so the grease can be removed easily. I do this a day ahead, and continue with the soup the next day.


Shred the cabbage to obtain approximately 14 cups.

Melt the oil and butter into a large pan and saute the chopped onion, celery, carrots, and leeks over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes until they begin to wilt. Add the shredded cabbage and the sauerkraut; cook over low heat until wilted, another 5 minutes or so. Add 1 cup of liquid from stock pot, cover pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.

Add the cabbage mixture to the de greased soup stock. Add the diced tomatoes, lemon juice, and sugar. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Check the seasoning. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream and sprinkle with fresh dill or dried dillweed.

Author's Comments

You must first make the broth or soup stock. It takes a few hours to make; however, the slow cooking develops the flavor and the soup is a meal in itself. Serve it with any black bread--dark rye, light rye, with or without caraway--or pumpernickel.

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1 Recipe Reviews


eklapointe reviewed Ukrainian Thick Cabbage Soup on December 6, 2011

I've made my mother's version which is for at least 15 quarts,a very big baniak,made with: pork ribs(whole rack cutup), no lemon juice and we use saurkraut with the juice.We cook the meat& spice with celery stalks, couple of big carrots and onion first until meat comes off. Discard bones and veggies.In a fresh pot add new veggies but this time slice/dice them up, add saurkraut & shedded cabbage & cook in the pork broth until tender: Add meat & season with S & P to taste. Should be a "saur" taste. We never added sourcream because we like it without it. Serve with a dense black bread or pumpernickel w/ butter