Perfect soup for a cold winter’s day


(The Nosher via JTA) – Shchi, or Russian cabbage soup, is among the more well-known soups in Russia. It is usually made with white or green cabbage, but some versions are made with other green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, sorrel or nettles.


Shchi is usually served with sour cream and some black bread on the side. Unlike borscht, there are no beets in this soup.

The following recipe was excerpted with permission from “Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking,” by Paola Gavin, published by Quadrille in October.

Russian Cabbage Soup


2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 green or white cabbage, about 1 pound, finely shredded

1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

2 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and diced

4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped

2 bay leaves

4 cups vegetable stock or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill or parsley

Sour cream for serving


Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a moderate heat until the onion is translucent.

Add the cabbage and carrots, and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time so the vegetables cook evenly.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves and stock; bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for another 20-25 minutes, adding a little water if the soup seems too thick.

Serve hot in individual bowls garnished with dill or parsley and a dollop of sour cream. Serves 4.

Editor’s Note: Acclaimed food writer Paola Gavin has previously published three books: “Mediterranean Vegetarian Cooking,” “Italian Vegetarian Cooking” and “French Vegetarian Cooking.” The Nosher food blog offers new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at