Russian-Style Hearty Cabbage Soup

Russian-Style Hearty Cabbage Soup






Russian-Style Hearty Cabbage Soup

When I was living in Invermere BC I did lots of sightseeing into the mountainous back country adjacent the Purcell, Selkirk and the Rockies mountain ranges. I remember being shown the many off the beat and track valley rivers and trails that were once transportation routes for the many mines that were situated all through this area. Some of the mines had natural hot springs and gardens that flourished to bath and feed the hungry miners. This one particular backwoods mine still had a dwelling founding family member named Otto Dmitri whom I met. His Russian family lived and prospered running a small copper mine they worked till it closed in the fifties.

When I met Otto and his two Russian Wolf Hounds he was in his late seventies and he basically lived off the land. His dogs kept watch over the paddock but were very friendly .His family passed on and the homestead was bequeathed to him.

No words could describe the view that this man had from his veranda each day. He looked down a huge river valley with high peaked mountains flanking each side. When I was there in early summer the flowers and the wild life were spectacular.

Otto kept goats, chickens and cattle that he let graze free range. His garden was just packed with lots of root vegetables and fast growing kale and cabbage. Talking to this man who cooked for himself over the last several decades was just fascinating to me. He made cheese, butter and yogurt, smoked trout, salmon, chicken, beef jerky and delicious air dried salamis. I stayed for several days keeping him company and wondered about the area. Spending a night looking up at the star lit sky in pitch black along with hearing the wolves and owls in the valley background was numbing to the senses. The last evening that I was there, Otto made this most scrumptious Russian soup prepared with a flavorful blend of cabbage, sauerkraut, short ribs, herbs and vegetables. Watching him prepare the meal made me feel humbled knowing he grew and harvested all the ingredients.

It takes a while to prepare, but it is well worth the time.

You will need;

4 Ibs short ribs

1 meaty shinbone (optional)

1 Ibs marrow bones

1 large onion

1 large turnip

2 carrots

3 tbs oil.

3 tbs butter

2 tbs mashed sundried tomatoes

Herb bouquet:

4 sprigs parsley

4 sprigs dill

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaf

2 leeks (white portions only)

2 celery stalks with leaves

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs ground black pepper

1 tbs sugar


1 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped carrots

½ cup finely chopped celery

2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

2 lbs green sliced cabbage

1 Ibs brined sauerkraut

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups beef broth

8 cups water

2 cups sour cream

½ cup chopped dill

Place the ribs, shinbone, and marrow bones in a large roast pan. Halve the onion, turnip, and carrots, and add to the pan. Brown in a preheated 425° oven for 30 minutes.

Give the bones a turn over and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

Now add the oil, butter and mix in the other ingredients in order.

Now pour in the liquids cover and return to the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Now remove the bones and scoop out any marrow that is left and add it back to the mixture.

You should now have very savory soup.

Skim off the fat slick. Remove the short ribs and place one per bowl. Ladle over some broth with vegetables and place a large dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of the fresh dill.

Be sure to have some good black bread on hand. [Pumpernickel]  Serves 8.