(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe
Russian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
This soup can scare away the chill of any day in one spoonful. Pair it up with Russian Black Bread, or the best house Pumpernickle Bread you can find or bake for a meal that is staying and flavorful as you could wish for. To make this meatier, add chunky beef bones or some strips of flank steak. To serve this as refined but hearty fare, serve smaller portions, top with sour cream, finely shredded pickled or cooked beets and fresh herbs dusted on top. The real secret to this fabulous rustic soup is the interplay between the brown sugar, cabbage, onions, and citric acid. It is an immediate hit of sour/sweet. Citric acid is available at pharmacies, health food stores or online from places such as King Arthur. If you don't have it, use the lemon juice substitute.
1 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium cabbage, finely shredded (2 1/2 to 3 lbs.)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced and minced (4 oz.)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, thinly sliced and minced
1/3 cup light brown sugar
10 cups water, or more, as required
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 10 ounce can tomato soup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed powder
1-2 tablespoons salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons citric acid, tartaric acid or sour salts or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
In a 12 to 16 quart stock pot, add about a cup of water and the oil. Over medium heat, saute the cabbage about 5-10 minutes, and then add in the onions, garlic and carrots with the brown sugar until lightly golden and softened, taking care to slowly cook down and soften but not brown or crisp the onions (add a touch more water if mixture seems to require it).
Once vegetable are softened, stir in water, crushed tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato paste, caraway seeds, caraway seed powder, salt, black pepper and citric acid (*). Simmer on medium, reducing heat to low as required, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Adjust seasonings - adding additional amounts of sugar, salt, citric acid and caraway seeds for a more pronounced sweet and sour taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, parsley and caraway seed garnish with finely shredded cooked or canned pickled beets on top of the sour cream. Freezes well.
(*) Citric acid, tartaric acid, or sour salts bring the sour to sweet-and-sour. Available in ethnic food stores and some drug stores. You may substitute 4-8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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