. Russian Beef and Cabbage Soup Seriously Soupy

Monday, October 25, 2010

Russian Beef and Cabbage Soup

The locally-sourced and produced Brooklyn Bouillon

The second favorite recipe at the soup party was this Russian beef and cabbage soup that was submitted by Rachael Mamane as an entry for the fall soup contest.  Coincidentally Rachael also happens to the founder of a new locally-sourced broth company called Brooklyn Bouillon that includes a product line of beef, chicken, duck, lamb, bison, turkey, lobster and vegetable stock and veal demi-glace from farms such as Grazin' Angus and DiPaolo Turkey. So not only would I be trying a 100 percent brand new soup, I would be testing out her bouillon that is expected to hit the shelves at Eataly as well as launch later this year.

I used grass-fed beef, which Rachael stated provides a richness to the soup that when paired with the cabbage and vinegar provides a natural tang - as opposed to using sauerkraut. I also used a mixed variety of heirloom tomatoes and an interesting combination of sugar, red pepper flakes and simple flavorings like salt and pepper. For this recipe, I started making the soup a day before the party and allowing it to sit overnight in its juices really enhanced the flavoring and texture of the soup causing it to easily fall apart, which Rachael also said this allows for any excess fat to make its way to the surface. Although this was the second soup voted in the taster's choice poll, it was the first one to go at the party and a recipe that is easy to make on your first try. I also found that the bouillon naturally enhanced the soup -- complementing the beef and added a rich and vibrant taste to the soup. Sadly with the franticness of making four soups over of the course of two days,  I didn't manage to take a picture of the completed process, but I do have step-by-step pictures of how to make it. I hope you enjoy the hearty fall soup, and as soon as Brooklyn Bouillon is up and running you'll have a delicious stock to work with.
Russian Cabbage Soup by Rachael Mamane of Brooklyn Bouillon
Serves 6-8
2 pounds grass-fed beef short ribs
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 T beef demi-glace
1.5 heirloom tomatoes
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 cabbage, cut in quarters, cored and finely sliced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup beef stock
2 quarts water (or enough to cover contents of stock pot)
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
Bouquet garni (bundle of fresh herbs) -- optional
Sea salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper


First prepare the tomatoes: Roast whole heirloom tomatoes over gas stove or quartered tomatoes under broiler until skin is charred and loosened all over. Cool, then remove skins. Coarsely chop and set aside for later. 

Cutting up the grass-fed beef
Sprinkling it with flour
Cooking the beef
Creating a stew
Next brown the meat: Coat the short ribs with all-purpose flour. Season with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. In a large stock pot, brown the short ribs in extra virgin olive oil, doing so in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove from stock pot and reserve for later.

Onions, parsnips and carrots - cut up
Adding onions to the pan
Adding carrots and parsnips to the pan

Now build the aromatics: In the same stock pot, add the chopped onions and cook over medium heat until caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips and continue to cook until vegetables are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and continue to cook until cabbage sweats. Stir occasionally.

Next add the soup base and simmer: Return browned short ribs to stock pot, then add chopped roasted tomatoes, beef demi-glace, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, white wine vinegar, beef stock and water to cover vegetables. Season with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Add optional bouquet garni. Simmer for 3 hours, skimming surface and stirring contents occasionally. Soup is done when beef is tender enough to shred. Adjust seasoning, adding more brown sugar and/or vinegar to achieve best balance of flavor. When cool enough to handle, remove beef short ribs and shred, then return to pot. Discard bones.

Now here's the kicker: If you have the patience, let the stock pot rest in the refrigerator overnight before dishing it up. This allows for easy removal of any excess fat. Additionally this soup improves with age. Great with crusty bread. Most of all, sit back and relax! This is truly a bowl of comfort for a chilly fall day. 

Seriously Soupy Serena

*All soups, unless indicated, use ingredients from local farms or natural and organic sources.



  1. Sounds fabulous, I made a Russian beef soup too, recipe from my Nana from Kiev. Your addition of roasted tomatoes sounds terrific.

  2. Sounds like a great pot of soup. I'm amazed by your countless inspired creations--very good for a soup lover like me. I look forward to trying some this winter season. :-)

  3. I have never seen anyone do that with a tomato before, right over the flame?
    Love the soup recipe, I won't be able to use the bullion, not something we have here in Ontario.

  4. Hi Lori,

    The tomatoes really added a richness to the tangy cabbage and hearty beef.

    Thank you Jean! You are too kind. It's exciting being right in soup-season. Thinking of a lot of new recipes to try out in the next few weeks. Stay tuned...

    That was the first time I roasted tomatoes like that - they really smoked and enhanced their flavors. Let me know if you try this recipe.

    Seriously Soupy Serena

  5. sooo goooodddddddddddddd!!!!! left out demi glace and herbs bundle.....still made three great meals....with some fresh toasted bread and warm butter. Cant beat it!