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Cabbage soup
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsSauerkraut/white cabbage
Ingredients generally usedStock (fish, mushroom, or pork) or fat, vegetables,
Other informationShchi is generally made with cabbage. Borscht can be a cabbage soup as well.

Cabbage soup may refer to any of the variety of soups based on various cabbages, or on sauerkraut and known under different names in national cuisines. Often it is a vegetable soup, with lentils, peas or beans in place of the meat. It may be prepared with different ingredients. Vegetarian cabbage soup may use mushroom stock. Another variety is using a fish stock. There's also a preference to cook cabbage soup using a pork stock.

In national cuisines

Cabbage soup is popular in Russian, Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian cuisine.

It is known as kapuśniak or kwaśnica in Polish, kapustnica in Slovak, and капусняк (kapusniak) in Ukrainian. It would be щи in Russian, however.

The same goes to Czech (zelňačka or zelná polévka), German (Kohlsuppe or Krautsuppe), French (soupe aux choux) cuisine, Finnish (kaalikeitto) and Swedish (kålsoppa).


A metal pot filled with cabbage soup and a chunk of meat
Cabbage-based soup known as Shchi

There's a soup called shchi (Russian: щи) that is a national dish of Russia. While commonly it is made of cabbages, dishes of the same name may be based on dock, spinach or nettle.

Borscht as a cabbage soup

The mid-19th-century Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language defines borshch as "a kind of shchi" with beet sour added for tartness.[2]


There is a Polish cabbage soup known as kapuśniak,[3] where drained and chopped sauerkraut is cooked in water with chopped pork, pieces of kielbasa and a bit of salt until the meat is almost tender. Instead of meat, a ready broth is also used. Afterwards, diced potatoes and carrots are added and boiled until they are cooked. Tomato paste and spices may be added. In some regions the soup is served with added flour and butter. A lean kapuśniak is cooked with roots and fungi.

Kapuśniak is served hot, in some regions with sour cream and sprinkled with chopped parsley and dill.

Skābu kāpostu zupa

In most of Latvia sauerkraut soup (Latvian: skābu kāpostu zupa) is made with sauerkraut, potatoes, carrots and groats, but the region in Latgale only sauerkraut and bacon is used.[4]

Swedish cabbage soup

The Swedish cabbage soup is usually made from white cabbage, which is browned before being boiled, and seasoned with generous amounts of allspice and sometimes served with boiled meatballs.[citation needed]

Caldo verde

Main article: Caldo verde

There are various soups made with vegetables that are the same species as cabbage, but come in different form, such as Caldo Verde soup, made of collard.

In popular culture

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its movie adaptations, the protagonist's family is so poor that one of the only foods they can afford to eat is cabbage soup.

Louis de Funès was the protagonist of the French film La Soupe aux choux (Cabbage Soup).

Catherine the Great, a Russian tsarina of German origin, initially notorious at the Russian court for her poor command of Russian, was quipped to be capable of making seven misspellings in a two-letter word:

See also


  1. ^ "ПРОФЕССОР КИСЛЫХ ЩЕЙ". Словарь Онлайн.
  2. ^ Tolkovy slovar zhivogo velikorusskogo yazyka by Vladimir Dal
  3. ^ "Polish Potato, Kielbasa, and Cabbage Soup (Kapusniak) Recipe". Serious Eats.
  4. ^ "Latgalian recipes: Sauerkraut soup". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 17 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.