Sour Cabbage Soup

You can certainly make this soup vegetarian by omitting the meat and just using water or vegetable stock, but it won’t be a “full” flavored as one made with beef. I’ve made it without marrowbones and while not as thick, it was still delicious. For sauerkraut, I cannot recommend the homemade version enough, or if you’re lucky enough to live near a Russian deli, they will always have for sale. It’s different in taste than German sauerkraut, but if all you have available is pre-made German stuff, it will also be delicious.

2 pounds beef top rib
1 beef marrowbone
1 quart beef stock
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, chopped, with juice
2 cups sauerkraut, preferably homemade and aged
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Bread, for serving

1. In a large soup pot, combine the beef, marrowbone, and stock with 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and after a few minutes, skip off the gray scum that floats to the top of the water. Add tomatoes, sauerkraut, onions, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.

2. Return the soup to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately with a thick hunk of crusty bread.

Serves 8

© 2023 Olga Massov