Make Ahead

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

April 27, 2019
Photo by IngridHeather
Author Notes

I absolutely love the sweet and sour cabbage soup from any good Jewish deli, but I couldn't find a straightforward recipe that didn't require flank steak or some other meat.

I also wanted to use up all the floating extra veggies in my crisper (one carrot here, two stalks of celery there, you know the deal). The secret ingredients are sauerkraut and piloncillo (which I had bought long ago for a picadillo experiment) but other than that this recipe is so flexible you could play around all sorts of variations. A great way to clean out your fridge. Makes a huge pot and I've been eating it all week. —IngridHeather

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oi
  • 5-6 tablespoons sauerkraut
  • 32 ounces broth of your choice (I used beef, but obviously you could use vegetable broth and make this vegetarian)
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or two taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 small cone of piloncillo
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lemon (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Chopped the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Put the onion powder, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt in a little bowl, so you have it ready.
  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and saute the onion until translucent. (5-7 minutes). Add the garlic, carrots, celery and cabbage and continue to saute until the cabbage just starts to wilt.
  3. Add the spice mix (onion powder, red pepper, salt) and continue to saute. Add more olive oil if things start to dry up. Continue to saute until the spice mix is distributed evenly and the cabbage starts to become cooked through.
  4. Add the tomatoes, the broth of your choice and simmer over medium heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. The soup may seem too broth-y at this point, but that will be taken care of later.
  5. After 30 minutes, uncover and toss in 5-6 heaping tablespoons of sauerkraut. Simmer for 10-15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and toss in the cone of piloncillo, and stir until dissolved.
  6. Taste the soup and make the following adjustments if necessary: -- squeeze lemon if soup is too sweet and/or add more sauerkraut -- add salt if necessary -- if too liquidy, simmer for 10-15 minutes with lid off -- if not enough liquid, use tomato can as measuring cup and add water
  7. Optional Step: Take off heat and let sit for an hour or so to allow flavors to meld, and then reheat before serving. Or enjoy right away!

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  • Lisa Garsko-Wilson
    Lisa Garsko-Wilson
  • IngridHeather