Aunty May's Cabbage Soup

TOP SECRET!!  This recipe is a family heirloom. 

It is NOT your mother’s Cabbage Soup, it’s my favorite Aunty May’s CABBAGE SOUP!  This soup is a Russian-style recipe, so it’s a little sweet and a little sour (not like the Chinese sweet and sour, it’s just a little sweet).  It’s, technically, a “borscht” – a sour soup popular in several Eastern European cuisines, including Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Romanian.  My Aunty used to make this soup for me every time I asked (and I asked A LOT).  Although the meat base of the soup is lamb, if you aren’t a fan of lamb, I suppose you could use beef – oxtail would work nicely, but the lamb is delish!  You might also try substituting kale for the cabbage if you want to yuppie-ify it.  If you try any of these variations, let me know.  I, personally, wouldn’t mess with the perfection that is this Cabbage Soup.

If you want to turn your meal into an ‘event’ (as you know I LOVE to do), start off with an appetizer of caviar with all of the bells and whistles (chopped hard boiled egg, red onion, crème fraîche), or some pickled herring on toast tips, or a little smoked salmon on toast tips with cucumbers.  You could even do a tray of little appetizers, including some pickled cucumbers and beets.

Serve the soup in a nice, antique-looking bowl – something you’d see at your grandmother’s (or my Aunty’s) house, with a nice hot, crusty rye bread – something you can pull apart and share rather than slice.

For dessert, a simple baked apple, or a nice piece of apple cake, or some vanilla ice cream with a scoop of vishnik cherries (FOR ADULTS ONLY), coupled with a nice cup of tea in pretty china cups with saucers. 

For entertainment, choose some Russian-themed movies!

Some movie suggestions: Anastasia (the animated one if you have kids, or the classic film with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner), Dr. Zhivago, Anna Karenina, or White Nights (so you can be in awe over the dancing Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines).

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Print Recipe
WRECIPE WEDNESDAY... Aunty May's SECRET Cabbage Soup
Aunty May's SECRET Cabbage Soup
Aunty May's SECRET Cabbage Soup
  1. Cook onion, lamb, water, and garlic until meat is almost cooked.
  2. Add tomato sauce, lemon juice, and salt.
  3. Add cabbage, grated apples, carrots, and raisins.
  4. Cook until vegetables are soft and meat falls off the bones with very little help.
Recipe Notes

You can remove meat from bones before serving, or serve with bones in, whichever you prefer.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a loaf of hot, crusty rye bread.

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