Russian Cabbage Soup (Shchi) is humble, earthy, sweet and sour and so satisfying on a winter night. It’s super low-cal, vegetarian, Paleo, South Beach! Oh, my!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
Feeling like Siberia where you are?
We got our first official snowfall in Memphis yesterday. It went from rain to sleet to snow and then everything froze. It’s always unnerving when one day it’s in the high 60’s and the next it’s below freezing and the precipitation continues to fall. Ice in the South is a very, very bad thing.
I had to cook for a client on Thursday and knew better than to run late but of course, I did. The store was insane with six checkout lanes running four and five people deep–all with full carts! The forecast was for 1 to 2 inches. How long did all these people think they would be “stranded?” Because I’m from Wisconsin and grew up with snowdrifts so deep we couldn’t open our front door, I always have to chuckle. However, we stay home on days like yesterday to avoid all the crazy drivers.
The best thing to do on a snow day? Make soup! This soup. Russian Cabbage Soup (Shchi)!
We were in Wisconsin for Christmas and with my dad being 91 and almost killed in a car accident in October, I spend every available moment I can with him when we’re there. It was brutally cold up there so there wasn’t much to do except hang out and talk.
He tells me stories about growing up and how difficult it was to feed everyone who came to the table. He had 13 brothers and sisters! (Only he and a younger sister are still alive.) So, when I come home from those visits, I like to make something very humble and simple to honor his difficult upbringing.
Russian Cabbage Soup, also called Shchi or S’chee (pronounced similarly to “she”) is a traditional old world soup. It has many variations, is sometimes made with meat but always has cabbage.
This version is from the Moosewood Collective in Ithaca, New York. One of the first cookbooks I ever owned was a Moosewood cookbook and I’ve been collecting them all for 30 years. It’s from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (affiliate link).
I’m not sure what it was about this recipe from the book that caught my husband’s eye some years ago, but he saw it and wanted to make it. It’s been a favorite of ours ever since and now one of us makes it at least once a year.
Besides being easy, it’s ridiculously healthy! What’s not to love about cabbage, carrots, turnips, bell pepper, tomatoes, prunes, raisins in a vegetable broth? This Russian Cabbage Soup is perfect for any diet. It’s vegan, gluten-free and Paleo-friendly!
Make this Russian Cabbage Soup! It will warm your bones!
Here are more great bone-warming hearty old-world soups!
- Farmhouse Cabbage Soup with Cannellini Beans and Kielbasa
- Old-Fashioned Potato, Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup
- Creamy Potato, Kielbasa and Kale Soup
- Italian Vegetable Stew
- Spicy Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon
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- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 medium turnips or 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cubed
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage (approximately ½ head)
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 10 pitted prunes, chopped
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (28-ounce) whole tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large nonreactive soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often or until onion begins to soften.
- Add the carrots, turnips and red bell pepper and saute another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt and cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the dill, prunes, raisins and vegetable broth. Using kitchen shears, coarsely chop the tomatoes into small pieces in the can. Add to soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Add honey, cider vinegar, salt and black pepper to taste. Top with fresh parsley.
- Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 787mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 23gProtein: 5g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.