Skip to main content

What is Shchi? How to Make Russian Shchi - Cabbage and Potato Soup

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian cultures all have a similar soup that goes by many names. It tends to have a similar base that varies with the local food. They have a base of cabbage, potatoes, and onions. But vary with using sauerkraut, normal cabbage, a tomato base or a cream one.

This is a standard sauerkraut based soup, but the beauty of it is that it's a soup made out of resourcefulness, so it takes on most extra vegetables that you may have in your refrigerator.

The original recipe can be found here, however, mine has been changed to fit what I normally have on hand as well as to my families taste.

This soup is traditionally served with rye bread, and at roughly 150 calories per bowl, it's a guilt-free treat that could be used for Cabbage Soup Diet.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

25 min

30 min

55 min

Makes six servings.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned and minced
  • 1/2 lbs to 1 lbs red potatoes
  • 1/2 green beans, clean and snapped in half
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots cut into small pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sauerkraut with juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil in a medium-large soup pot until hot. Add the onion, minced garlic, minced celery, and carrots. Cook until onions become transparent, roughly 5 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and green beans, and continue cooking until the green beans begin to soften.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer covered. Cooking the soup until the potatoes have begun to soften, but are still firm. (try not to over boil the potatoes until they fall apart)
  4. Slowly add in the flour and Greek yogurt, so that it doesn't clump.
  5. Add the sauerkraut and dill, season with salt and pepper, and simmer long enough that the sauerkraut warms up.

Variations of This Eastern European Soup

Shchi is a Russian cabbage soup, similar to this recipe.

Borscht is a Ukranian variation with a beet and cabbage base.

Kapusta is a Polish version that includes pickled cabbage (sauerkraut) and bacon.

Make Schi Your Own

One of the reasons that I love this soup so much is that it's the perfect refrigerator Velcro. If I have left over ham, kielbasa, squash, tomatoes or seasonings they almost always go just fine with the soup. Here are a few ideas of traditional ingredients that can be used, and some not so traditional ingredients.

  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Poultry
  • Kielbasa
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Regular Purple or Green Cabbage
  • Green Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsley
  • Bay leaves
  • Beets
  • Sour Cream

Related Articles