Hungarian Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup with pork rib. Michael Powell / Getty Images
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings

This recipe for Hungarian sweet-and-sour cabbage soup - cukros ecetes kaposztaleves - tastes even better when made with the cooking water from smoked pork butt, but broth or water can be used instead. This soup is meant to be thick and hearty and can be creamed for a different spin, or served over noodles or rice as a main course, creamed or uncreamed.


  • Cooking liquid from smoked pork butt
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 4 peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or to taste (optional)
  • Leftover smoked pork butt

Steps to Make It

  1. Place reserved smoked pork butt cooking liquid into a Dutch oven or large pot. Add all remaining ingredients except potatoes and meat. Add additional water or broth, if necessary, so ingredients are covered by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer, 30 minutes, partially covered.

  2. Add potatoes and return to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add meat and heat through. If you have leftover cabbage and potatoes from the smoked pork butt dinner, you can add them to the soup along with the meat. Portion into warm bowls and serve with crusty bread.