Cabbage and Beet Soup

I recently ran across The Fannie Farmer Cookbook in an antique store. This book was originally published in 1896.

Stock, water enriched by the food cooked in it, is an important ingredient in numerous soups. Homemade stock brings full-bodied flavor to recipes. The recipe for the beef stock used in this recipe is found  here.

To make this soup, peel and dice 2 cups of raw beets. The beet juice briefly stained my hands, my counter, and my cutting board, but it washed off easily with dishwashing liquid.

Chop 1 onion. Coarsely chop 2 cups of cabbage. Place all three ingredients in a pot with 4 cups of beef stock or 4 cups of beef bouillon. (I used two cups of each, which worked very well. You may also use beef broth in place of the beef stock.)

Bring this to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer the soup for about 30 minutes. Cook a little longer if the beets are not tender. Replace liquid that evaporates during cooking with additional water or beef stock.

Remove from the heat. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar. Salt to taste. (I added ½ teaspoon of salt and thought that was the perfect amount.)

When serving, you may add a teaspoon of sour cream to garnish. I tasted the soup with and without the sour cream. If there is no sour cream, another tablespoon of vinegar is needed. When I ate the soup with the sour cream, all the ingredients worked well together.

This is a delicious soup that I will make again.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.