Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi

Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi
Shchi is a traditional Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. It's hearty, healthy and easy to make. Shchi is traditionally eaten with rye bread.


  • 1 pound beef (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cabbage (small, shredded or finely chopped)
  • 2 potatoes (large, cut into cubes)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tomato sauce (or fresh tomato, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (medium, finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups water
  • pepper
  • salt
  • dill
  • scallions (for garnishing)
  • sour cream (about 1 tablespoon per serving)
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour, 35 minutes
Total time:
1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 5 Servings | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour, 35 minutes | Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


1. In a pot, bring water and beef to boil. Remove all scum. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Remove the meat and strain the broth through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, then return to the pot together with meat.
2. Grate carrot and finely chop onion.
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 1
3. Shred or finely chop cabbage, cut potatoes into cubes.
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 2
4. Add potatoes and cabbage to the soup and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 3
5. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt butter, add onion and carrot, cook for 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce (or fresh tomato) and cook for another 2 minutes. Add to the soup.
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 4
6. Add bay leaves, season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 5
7. Before serving, cut the meat into desired pieces. Serve shchi garnished with sour cream, dill and scallions (optional).
Russian Cabbage Soup Shchi photo instruction 6

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I’m Alena, the blogger at MyDeliciousMeals since 2010. My goal with MyDeliciousMeals is for you to discover the joy of cooking and to find lots of new favorite recipes that your family will enjoy. I’m so happy you stopped by!


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Like my mom's!

Just like my mom's favorite soup. Growing up during Soviet Union that was one of the most frequent meals. Thank you for sharing!!!

That sounds awesome! I ate a lot of shchi in my childhood too ;) - Alena

Eating this right now!

I woke up and craved cabbage soup. Found your recipe and now I'm eating a bowl....and it's ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I used a T-bone steak and cooked the soup with the bone still in the pot for added depth. I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I'll be making this soup often! Thank you.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for sharing this awesome review with us! - Alena

What type of Beef?

What type of beef do you use in this recipe? Is it ground beef or a cut of steak? Let me know thanks, I’m going to make this for my book club, we’re reading Anna Karenina. Thank you!

Hi, you can use any cut of meat for this recipe. I often use beef stew and it works just fine! Sorry for a late response ;)

Nice soup

I simply followed the recipe. It came out really good. I will make it again.


I made this with boiled pork instead of beef and it was spectacular!! My husband has had to go gluten and dairy free for health reasons (we left off the sour cream) and has had a hard time making the adjustment, but this dish rejuvenated his outlook on his new diet. Very tasty and filling. The kids loved it too!!!

I'm so happy to hear that you liked the recipe! This is one of my favorite soups from my childhood. My kids love it too :) Thank you for your great review!

Absolutely loved this, though

Absolutely loved this, though can't say I like cabbage that much. Inexpensive to make. Already added it to our meal rotation.

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