Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe (Fresh And Vibrant Flavors)

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“Indulge in a culinary ballet of sweet and savory with our Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe, a delightful symphony of flavors that dances across your palate. This heartwarming dish gracefully combines tender cabbage, succulent beef, and a medley of vegetables, all harmoniously simmered in a rich tomato broth. Each spoonful is a swirl of comfort, with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spice, creating a uniquely Russian culinary experience. Dive into tradition, savor the dance of flavors, and let this Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup warm your soul and tickle your taste buds.”

Imagine a culinary journey to Russia with each spoonful of this Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe.

This comforting classic, steeped in tradition, surprises with subtle sweetness harmonizing with fresh cabbage. Imagine frosty Russian winters warmed by a bubbling pot of this rich, hearty broth.

Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

With just the right blend of fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, and a secret ingredient – a hint of sugar – it transcends beyond a mere recipe, echoing tales of resilience and warmth.

Discover the heart of Russia’s culinary charm in your bowl – sweet Russian cabbage soup, the heartwarming treasure of Slavic cuisine.

What Is Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup?

Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup, traditionally known as Borscht, is a beloved dish from Russia.

]The soup’s characteristically sweet profile is achieved through simmering fresh cabbage, other root vegetables, and often a touch of sugar in a rich meat or vegetable broth.

The vibrant flavors provide a comforting warmth, making it a staple during cold Russian winters.

While recipes vary, a Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup bowl typically combines savory, sweet, and tart elements, offering a delightful culinary experience.

Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Protein Choices: The soup can be made with different types of meat like beef, pork, chicken, or even fish. Vegetarians and vegans can substitute meat with mushrooms or beans for a protein boost.
  • Vegetable Variations: Alongside cabbage and beetroot, you can add other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, or tomatoes. Some recipes even include apples for an extra touch of sweetness.
  • Grains Or Legumes: Adding grains like barley, rice, and legumes like lentils or chickpeas can make the soup heartier.
  • Herbs And Spices: The soup is traditionally flavored with dill, parsley, and bay leaves, but you can also experiment with other herbs and spices. Add thyme, coriander, or a touch of smoked paprika for a different flavor profile.
  • Acidic Element: Instead of vinegar, you can try adding lemon juice, lime juice, or even a splash of white wine to balance out the sweetness.
Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the lean ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain any excess fat if needed.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef bouillon cubes, shredded carrots, chopped onion, white vinegar, white sugar, salt, ground black pepper, 1 quart (4 cups) of water, and finely chopped garlic to the pot with the cooked beef.
  • Stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • While the mixture simmers, prepare the cabbage by coring it and cutting it into wedges.
  • After the simmering time, add the cabbage wedges to the pot. Pour in the remaining 1 quart (4 cups) of water.
  • Cover the pot and continue simmering for 30-40 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve the cabbage soup hot, and enjoy!
Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings


  • Protein Variation: Use meats such as pork, chicken, or fish. Vegetarian? Use hearty mushrooms or add beans for a protein punch.
  • Vegetable Variation: Mix in other vegetables like bell peppers, turnips, zucchini, or even leafy greens like spinach or kale.
  • Grain Variation: Barley, rice, or even quinoa can add a filling element to the soup.


  • Legumes: Add lentils, chickpeas, or kidney beans for extra protein and fiber.
  • Spices: Introduce warmth and depth with cumin, coriander, or smoked paprika.
  • Acid: For a brighter flavor, consider adding a squeeze of lemon, lime juice, or a splash of white wine.


  • Creamy Toppings: Instead of a traditional dollop of sour cream, try Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or for a vegan twist, a spoonful of cashew cream.
  • Herbs: Fresh dill, parsley, or chives can be sprinkled on top for a fresh contrast.
  • Crunchy Toppings: Consider a sprinkle of toasted seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower seeds) or crispy croutons for a delightful crunch.
  • Bold Flavors: A sprinkle of crumbled feta or a few slices of pickled red onions can add a tangy element that nicely contrasts the soup’s sweetness.
Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

  • Slow Cooker: The slow cooker is ideal for soups like Borscht as it allows the flavors to meld together over several hours, resulting in a deeply flavorful soup.
    To use a slow cooker, add all of your ingredients, set the temperature to low if you plan to let it cook all day or high if you’re starting it midday, then let the slow cooker do its magic.
  • Instant Pot: The Instant Pot, or similar pressure cookers, is perfect for when you want Borscht but are short on time. You’d use the sauté function to cook down your onions and other aromatic ingredients, add your remaining ingredients, then set the device to the pressure cooking function.
    The cooking time would be drastically reduced compared to traditional methods, allowing you to enjoy your Borscht in under an hour.
Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

  • Store-Bought Broth: This is a convenient option, especially if you’re short on time or don’t have the ingredients to make your broth. When choosing a store-bought broth, look for high-quality, low-sodium varieties. This gives you control over the soup’s salt content. Numerous options are available, including vegetables, chicken, beef, and bone broths.
  • Homemade Broth: Making your broth lets you control the ingredients and flavor profile completely. You can make it from leftover bones, vegetable scraps, or fresh ingredients. Homemade broth typically has a fresher, more robust flavor than store-bought versions and doesn’t contain preservatives or artificial flavors.
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How To Serve ?

  • Temperature: Borscht can be served hot or cold, depending on the season and personal preference. In winter, serve it hot, straight from the stovetop or slow cooker. In summer, you could do it chilled as a refreshing meal.
  • Garnish: Add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl before serving. This adds a creamy, tangy contrast to the sweetness of the soup. Alternatively, use a bit of dairy-free sour cream or a swirl of coconut milk for a vegan option.
  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle herbs such as dill or parsley on each serving. This adds a pop of color and a new, herby flavor.
  • Bread: Borscht is traditionally served with a side of hearty bread. You could serve it with slices of rye bread, a crusty baguette, or pumpernickel. The bread is great for dipping into the soup and ensuring you don’t miss a single drop!
  • Time: Consider making your Borscht a day in advance. Like many soups and stews, Borscht’s flavor deepens and improves after a day in the fridge.
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 Perfect Side Dishes

  • Hearty Bread: A thick slice of crusty bread, like rye or pumpernickel, is traditional and perfect for soaking up every last drop of soup.
  • Russian Salad (Olivier Salad): This traditional Russian salad, made with potatoes, carrots, peas, and pickles in a creamy dressing, could complement the flavors in the Borscht.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickled cucumbers or other pickled vegetables can provide a nice contrast to the sweet and savory flavors of the soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted root vegetables like beets, carrots, or parsnips can echo the earthy flavors in the soup.
  • Grilled or Roasted Meat: If your Borscht is vegetarian, grilled or roasted meat or fish can make the meal more substantial.
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Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth if needed to thin it out.
  • Make Ahead: This soup is perfect for making ahead. Prepare the recipe as directed, then let it cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
  • Freezing: This soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Flavor Development: Like many soups, the flavors of this Russian Cabbage Soup will deepen and develop over time, making it even more delicious the next day. Consider making a large batch to enjoy throughout the week or freeze for later use.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Freeze for later: If you have leftovers, you can portion them into individual servings and freeze them for future meals. Thaw and reheat whenever you want a quick and easy meal.
  • Soup remix: Blend the leftover soup in a blender or with an immersion blender to create a creamy cabbage soup. Adjust the consistency with additional broth or cream if desired.
  • Cabbage wraps: Use the leftover cabbage wedges as wraps for a flavorful and nutritious meal. Fill them with leftover cooked rice, quinoa, or shredded chicken for a tasty and light lunch or dinner.
  • Vegetable stock base: Strain the leftover soup, reserving the flavorful liquid. Use it as a base for other dishes like stews, casseroles, or risottos, enhancing their taste with the cabbage and vegetable flavors.
  • Cabbage stir-fry: Chop the leftover cabbage wedges into smaller pieces and sauté them with other vegetables of your choice. Add soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for a quick, healthy stir-fry.



  • Enhance the soup’s sweetness by caramelizing the onions before adding them to the pot.
  • Use a mix of fresh and canned tomatoes for a complex flavor profile.
  • Add a touch of honey or brown sugar to amplify the natural sweetness of the cabbage.
  • Incorporate apple slices for a fruity twist that complements the cabbage.
  • Balance the sweetness with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a tangy kick.
  • Toast caraway seeds and sprinkle them on top for a nutty, aromatic finish.
  • Garnish with a dollop of sour cream to add creaminess and contrast to the soup’s sweetness.
Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe (Fresh And Vibrant Flavors)

Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe (Fresh And Vibrant Flavors)

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Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup, or Borscht, is a vibrant, hearty Eastern European soup. It’s a delightful blend of fresh cabbage, beetroot, and other vegetables, simmered to create a warming, sweet-savory broth. Often served with a dollop of sour cream, it’s a comforting, nutritious dish enjoyed in any season.


  • 1/2 Pounds 1/2 Ground Lean Beef

  • 14.5 Ounce 14.5 Diced Tomatoes

  • 8 Ounce 8 Tomato Sauce

  • 4 Cubes 4 Beef Bouillon

  • 2 2 Carrots, Shredded (Medium)

  • 1 1 Onion, Chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 White Vinegar

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 White Sugar

  • 1/2 Teaspoons 1/2 Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Ground Black Pepper

  • 64 Fl.Ounce 64 Water, Divided

  • 3 3 Garlic Coves, Finely Chopped

  • 1 Head 1 Cabbage, Cored And Cut Into Wedges

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Crumble the ground beef into a large pot.
    Chop your carrots and onion.
    Mince your garlic.
    Shred your cabbage.
  • Cooking
    Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef bouillon cubes, chopped carrots, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to the pot with the beef.
    Pour in 1 quart of water, and boil over medium-high heat. Stir to break up the beef while heating.
    Once the soup comes to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
    After 30 minutes, pour another quart of water and return to a slow boil.
    Add the minced garlic and shredded cabbage to the pot.
    Simmer for an additional 25 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
  • Blending
    This soup typically remains chunky, but if a smoother texture is desired, you could blend part or all of the soup using an immersion blender.
  • Final Touches
    Before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of fresh dill or parsley if desired.
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife And Cutting Board
  • Grater or Food Processor
  • Ladle
  • Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot
  • Immersion Blender


  • You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef for a lighter version.
  • For added flavor and nutritional value, add extra vegetables like celery, bell peppers, or zucchini.
  • If you prefer a thicker soup, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste during cooking.
  • Adjust the soup’s sweetness by adding more or less sugar according to your taste.
  • Consider adding herbs and spices like bay leaves, thyme, or paprika to enhance the soup’s flavor profile.
  • Add cooked rice, quinoa, or barley to make the soup more filling during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
  • Don’t discard the cabbage core! Chop it finely and add it to the soup for extra texture and flavor.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly before serving to avoid burning your mouth. The flavors will also continue to develop as it sits.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

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