This Russian cabbage borscht is another winter warm-up secret weapon. Not to be confused with borscht made with beets or various meats and winter vegetables; while that is good, this soup is pure Jewish comfort food. Just a handful of simple ingredients, mainly cabbage.
When I was a kid, momala made a cabbage borsht flavored with short ribs or brisket. Once the meat finished cooking, she would shred and add it back into the soup. After pouting, I would pick out all the meat and leave the cabbage. Then I would complain. A lot. (Cabbage: not a favorite.) My childhood best friend loved the soup, so much so that momala would joke that she was the rightful daughter, not me. Today, I would never dream of doing that. Cabbage is actually my favorite part.
However, this version is different from my mom's soup, but an homage all the same. Kept her addition of golden raisins for the sweetness, but I made this version more brothy and added caraway seeds, V8 juice and cayenne for a little kick. Also, everything is finely chopped or minced rather than chunky. Always have to mention, the BF absolutely loves this soup. [Ed. note: Can confirm.]
You can even make this vegan by using vegetable instead of chicken broth.
Healthy, flavorful, delicious, inexpensive and it freezes very well. Makes a delightful lunch or perfect dinner paired with Russian rye or black bread. [Ed. note: HOW ABOUT VODKA OKAY JUST KIDDING]
What's not to love? Momala would be proud!
Number of Servings: 10-12 cups
My father hailed from Vienna, and momala's parents were also from Austria. Oktoberfest fare? Only on days ending in "y."
Growing up, we had everything from Wiener Schnitzel (veal) and Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (pork), to hasenpfeffer (rabbit), liptauer, palatschinke (crepes with jelly), sauerkraut, sweet-and-sour purple cabbage, Austrian potato salad, cabbage borscht, stuffed cabbage rolls, sauteed cabbage with caraway and lots of heavy duty Russian rye bread (with caraway seeds).
Extended family and friends raved about momala's sautéed green cabbage and sweet-and-sour purple cabbage. Me? Wouldn't know, because as a kid I literally hated all things cabbage-y, and wouldn't get near it, let alone eat it. Now I appreciate cabbage much more, and over the years have tried various ways to prepare, and this is how the BF and I like it. I think momala would be happy. [Ed. note: She would.]
The BF and I happen to love the flavor of caraway, but if you don't, just leave it out.
We added bratwurst to this super-quick supper, but any sausage will do. The BF and I have found a local brand that we love, Dibrov. A favorite is the Oktoberfest Bratwurst (not a sponsored post, we just love it). We paired this cabbage side with sausages, mustard, pickled cukes and onions, and German soft pretzel sticks. We also imbibed some delicious Marionberry Hard Cider that a few good Oregon friends left us this summer, and a German lager that complimented the Oktoberfest meal perfectly. [Ed. note: Am tempted to search for the Bob and Doug McKenzie movie Strange Brew.]
Even if you're not all about Oktoberfest, this cabbage side works any time of year, and goes especially well with pork chops or loin, brisket, chicken schnitzel, etc. Anything!
PS: Things got pretty spicy a year ago with this jalapeño, serrano and fresno pepper roast chicken (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/jalapeno-serrano-fresno-pepper-roast-chicken).
Number of servings: 4
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.