Baba Sophie’s Borsch and Kapustka

from Baba Sophie’s Ukrainian Cookbook

Cabbage will soon be plentiful and both recipes can be frozen to be enjoyed throughout the colder months. A true Eastern European family would have both available for comforting family dinners and when unexpected guests show up on their doorstep. 



3 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

½ medium head of cabbage, shredded

4 medium-sized beets, diced

1 cup potatoes, chopped

½ cup carrots, sliced

½ cup peas, shelled

½ cup cut beans

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

2-3 sprigs of dill

2-3 Tbsp of vinegar (to taste)

¼ cup cream


Sauté the onions in butter in a medium-sized pot. Add cabbage and continue to sauté. Add boiling water to the pot until it is ¾ full. Add the vegetables one by one, beets first as they take longer to cook, potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, and the sprigs of dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the vegetables are tender but firm. When the vegetables are cooked, take the pot off the heat, add vinegar to taste before adding cream. Serve with homemade bread.

Kapustka (Sauerkraut)


10 heads of cabbage, take out the center core

10 Tbsp pickling salt


Shred cabbage in large pail working in 1 Tbsp pickling salt for each head. Press down with a plate on top to weigh down. Each day, stir mixture and release hot air. Ready in 4 to 5 days in a warm place. Freeze in Ziplock bags or containers.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: Growing up in a Polish/Russian household, borsch was eaten quite often, as was sauerkraut. The fun thing with the soup is that you can change it up to use any vegetables and/or meat. This recipe is a good base to get you started! 

Contents and images used with permission by Marion Matala.