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Shchi Soup with Sour Cream and Parsley

Shchi (Russian Sauerkraut Soup)

There are so many reasons to love Shchi - traditional Russian Cabbage Soup. It's hearty and filling thanks to the tender chunks of beef and the combo of sauerkraut and fresh cabbage. Cozy recipe for cold autumn and winter nights.
Course Soup
Cuisine Russian
Keyword comforting, cozy, hearty, meaty, sour
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 441kcal
Author Iryna


For beef broth

  • 1 lb beef chuck washed and dried
  • 8 c water
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 1 large carrot halved
  • 1 stalk celery halved
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

For Shchi

  • 2 large potatoes diced
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • c celery root cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 2 ½ c (10 oz) sauerkraut
  • 2 c cabbage shredded
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tbsp salt or to taste (don't add all salt at once)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • sour cream for serving
  • parsley for serving


1. Make a broth

  • In a large stock pot add 8 cups of water along with 1 lb of Beef chuck. Bring the water to a boil. With a slotted spoon remove a foam on the surface, add 1 tsp of black pepper corns, 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk. Cook on a medium-low heat for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
    Discard the vegetables and transfer the meat to a plate. Sift the broth through a fine mash sieve and put it back on a stove.

2. Cook potatoes and carrot

  • Add diced potatoes to a pot with a broth and cook for 10 minutes. Add carrot and celery root and cook for another 10 minutes.

3. Sauté cabbage

  • At the same time, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and on a medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, 3-4 tbsp of tomato sauce, cover with a lid and sauté on a medium low heat stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. 

4. Add vegetables to a soup

  • Add sautéed vegetables to a pot with potatoes and carrot, along with cubed meat, bay leaf, salt, pepper to taste and continue cooking on a medium heat for 5 minutes.* (See Note 1 and Note 2).
    Turn off the heat, add garlic pushed through a garlic press and let the soup rest for at least 20-30 minutes.

5. Serve

  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of parsley.


Note 1
Sauerkraut is already salty enough, so always taste the soup before adding salt. 
Note 2
You can regulate the acidity of the soup. If you feel like you it needs more acid, just add 2-3 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice.


Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.1g | Protein: 24.1g | Fat: 24.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1102mg | Potassium: 1032mg | Fiber: 7.3g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg