• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 35 minutes cooking

Shchi is one of the most famous soups in Russia. It is usually made with white or green cabbage, but some versions are made with other green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, sorrel or nettles. Shchi is usually served with sour cream or smetana and some black bread on the side.


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 green or white cabbage, about 450g (1lb), finely shredded

  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

  • 2 medium ‘floury’ potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock or water

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill or parsley

  • sour cream or smetana, to serve


Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a moderate heat until the onion is translucent. Add the cabbage and carrot and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time so the vegetables cook evenly. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves and stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for a further 20–25 minutes, adding a little water if the soup seems too thick. Serve hot in individual bowls, garnished with dill or parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin, published by Quadrille October 2017.