Sweet & Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup

Sweet & Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup

35 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

This wholesome sweet-and-sour soup combines beef, caraway seeds, sweet paprika and cabbage—ingredients that star in a number of German dishes. It is particularly nice served with crusty rye bread. For an even heartier soup, add diced cooked potatoes along with the cabbage. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed, chopped
  • 1 medium Golden Delicious or other sweet-tart cooking apple, unpeeled, diced
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, preferably Hungarian sweet
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy, or green cabbage
  • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef, caraway seeds and thyme and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until it is mostly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in pepper-onion mix and apple; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, honey and paprika and adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in cabbage and cook just until barely tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with vinegar to taste, salt and pepper.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 3/4 cups
  • Per serving: 240 calories; 9 g fat(3 g sat); 5 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 44 mcg folate; 53 mg cholesterol; 15 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 1299 IU vitamin A; 37 mg vitamin C; 69 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 717 mg sodium; 671 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Zinc (27% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Iron (19% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
  • Exchanges: 2 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Reviews 35

October 23, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Just as advertised! The soup was just as described with a sweet taste but a slight kick. I followed the other reviewers recommendations and added some potatoes. Also, i added a carrot (for color). The only thing i noticed was that as the savoy cabbage cooked (took longer than anticipated), the apple disintegrated. I would make this again as it was easy and i had most of the ingredients in the pantry already. Pros: Easy to make
October 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Wonderful blend of flavors I've never been much a soup person, but I love cabbage, so I was curious enough to give it a try. It's fast and easy to put together, and unbelievably tasty! Thanks to this recipe, I've finally met my soup soulmate! Pros: Easy to make, delicious
October 13, 2014
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By: Lady Laff
Tasty, autumnal warmer This is a delicious meal that we ate on our 5:2 diet fast day. A small amount is filling, so perfect for this. I live in the UK and don't have the frozen onion, pepper thing, but I just added fresh ones after roasting them a little in the oven to soften and caramelise a bit. I can see substituting or adding root veggies but haven't tried it. Pros: Well-balanced, great way to use cabbage
August 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Very flavorable Tried this soup last winter and wasn't really sure if I'd like it but I couldn't stop eating it after the first bite. Looking forward to the colder weather soon to make this again and again.
April 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
We Loved It!!!! I used a savoy cabbage and did not have caraway seeds on hand. I substituted cumin seeds - and this soup still turned out great. I also took another person's suggestion on a previous post and added 3 small potatoes I had already par-boiled. So easy -you can't fail with this recipe. Can't wait to try with caraway seeds. I will definitely be making this again. Pros: Easy & Quick to put together, Cons: None
July 10, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Change it up a little I used what I had in my fridge. Red pepper instead of green, tomato paste and extra broth instead of canned tomatoes, and combination of hamburger and chorizo soy sausage instead. Couldn't even taste the apples, so they were fine! Quick and healthy! Pros: quick to put together, use leftovers in fridge, warm and full of flavor, well balanced Cons: not really
March 14, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Eh So I know I'm obviously in the minority, but I didn't like this recipe. I followed it to a T. I thought it lacked flavor, even with the caraway seeds and vinegar. I was hoping it would taste like cabbage rolls, but it does not. I won't be making this recipe again. Pros: Easy Cons: Not a whole lot of flavor
July 23, 2012
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By: alizabeth_taylor
We Could Not Stop Eating it We added about 3 small diced potatoes and used about 8 cups of beef broth. Two small diced golden delicious apples, diced water chest nuts (for crunch), and some spicy sriracha sauce = deliciousness! Also consider adding more frozen vegs like just plain froz mixed soup veggies. You should add as much apple cider vinegar as you like. Will def make again, probably next week! Pros: Lots and lots of veggies
May 22, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Best Soup Ever! The perfect balance of sweet, savory and sour! I loved the apple and vinegar in the soup! We added potatoes and certainly recommend doing so. Also, I would suggest not using regular green cabbage. We used savoy cabbage and it made the soup. Overall, one of the best soups I have ever had and can't wait to make it again! Pros: Everything Cons: none