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Recipe Collection

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Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup Related:   Chanukah, Europe, meat, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, soup, Sukkot

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Beet borscht is undoubtedly the most popular sweet and-sour soup within the Ashkenazi soup canon. But this cabbage-based soup, called krautsuppe in German, is just as delicious. It is traditionally served during the cold winter months when a bright, savory potage is especially comforting.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (910 g) flanken or short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large onions, halved through the root and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (28 oz/795 g) diced (chopped) tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (purée)
  • 8 cups (2 liters/2 qt) beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 lb/910 g), core removed and finely shredded
  • ¼ cup (45 g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) apple cider vinegar


  • In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the flanken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and cook, flipping once, until seared on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same pot. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes
  • Return the browned flanken to the pot and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste (purée), stock and cabbage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until the vegetables and meat are tender, about 1½ hours. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Take out the flanken and let cool to the touch. Cut the meat off the bones and chop into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the soup pot. Taste and add a little more salt, if desired. Serve hot.
  • Recipe reprinted from THE JEWISH COOKBOOK by Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019).

7 Responses

  1. Abram says:

    What a delicious soup! Thank you!

    I made 1/2 the recipe, because I only had 1 lb of short ribs. However 4 cups of stock was not enough – we didn’t have enough broth. So I added another 4, for a total of 8. So if I were to make the full recipe, I would double the stock, or else 4 cups stock, 4 cups water? We’ll see!

    • Merav Levkowitz Merav Levkowitz says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!
      We would recommend following the original directions and adding more water or stock gradually if it still feels like it needs more broth. It is supposed to be quite thick.

  2. Fay says:

    Thanks for the reci[pe, The Best I’ve Tasted so far came from Brent’s Deli, in Northridge Ca.

  3. Paula says:

    Have made this numerous times and it is legit!!! Loved it !!!

  4. Sherry says:

    This is similar to my family recipe. Rather than use the vinegar you can buy “sour salt” or granulated citric acid and control your level of sour easily.

  5. Barbara Younger says:

    This was exactly what I was looking for. I followed the directions to the letter and it turned out beautifully. Thank you!!

  6. Debbie Burt-Rowan says:

    I made this recipe and it was so delicious! The recipe was simple to follow as well.

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