Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
I first had this Sweet and Sour Cabbage soup at a restaurant in Illinois back in the 90’s. I was there with friends and we all loved it. I tried making it at home but it never came out same. So I called the restaurant and asked to speak with the chef. I went over my recipe and told him it didn’t seem to have that kick of flavor that theirs had. I had the sweet and sour right, it just was missing that pop of flavor. He said that’s easy. Just add a few tablespoons of ketchup. Sure enough, I added that and it was perfect.
The Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup from the restaurant and my recipe call for adding beef. However, many recipes don’t add any beef. If you decide to leave it out, you could also use Vegetable broth for a vegetarian version. If you add it, remember to slowly simmer to make sure the meat and vegetables are very tender.
Once you brown your meat in a large stock or soup pot, add the cored and diced green cabbage, diced onions, sliced carrots and minced garlic cloves. Next add the whole tomatoes, that you crushed through your fingers and add the tomato sauce and water. Add the low-sodium beef broth, both vinegars, brown sugar and honey. Then add the sweet paprika and caraway seed. Finally, add 2 tablespoons ketchup. Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 3 hours or until everything is very tender and the broth has reduced down. Taste to see if you want to add 1 additional tablespoon of ketchup. Remove from heat and serve.
A couple of notes, you can see from the photo, how much the soup has reduced. I made this before with less liquid, but it really builds more flavor the longer it simmers. I let it simmer for at least 3 hours, just to make sure the meat is fork tender and the cabbage and vegetables are soft. Make sure you discard any hard core parts from the cabbage. Nothing worse than biting into a thick piece of core in a soup.
Additionally, there are two version of paprika, sweet and hot. Both are typically smoked. You want sweet paprika for this recipe.
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Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
A hearty soup with a kick of flavor.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound stew meat, small dice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large green cabbage, cored and large dice
- 1 large onion, medium dice
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes, crushed through fingers
- 29 ounces tomato sauce
- 28 ounces water
- 24 ounces low-sodium beef broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon caraway seed
- 2-3 tablespoons ketchup
- Step 1 In a large stock or soup pot, brown the small diced stew meat in olive oil. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder.
- Step 2 Add the cored and diced green cabbage, diced onions, sliced carrots and minced garlic cloves.
- Step 3 Add the whole tomatoes, that you crushed through your fingers. Add the tomato sauce and water. Add the low-sodium beef broth.
- Step 4 Add both vinegars, brown sugar and honey.
- Step 5 Add the sweet paprika and caraway seed.
- Step 6 Add 2 tablespoons ketchup.
- Step 7 Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 3 hours or until everything is very tender and the broth has reduced down. Stir occasionally. Taste to see if you want to add 1 additional tablespoon of ketchup.
- Step 8 Remove from heat and serve.