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Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup) - A Family Feast

Every Sunday, as a child growing up, we spent the afternoon visiting my Babci.  Babci means grandmother in Polish,* and she was my mother’s mother.  Like most women of her generation, she often made dishes that originated from the ‘old country’ and the distinctive tastes and flavors of those dishes are hardwired in my memory.

Even today, I can immediately go back in time whenever I smell certain foods or certain dishes cooking.  One of those dishes is Kapusta**, a traditional Polish cabbage soup.  We were always really psyched when Babci made her delicious Kapusta for us for dinner.

Years later, I discovered that my husband Jack – who pretty much loves all-things cabbage – had never eaten Kapusta!

Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup) - A Family Feast

Since I didn’t have my Babci’s actual recipe (it was one of those recipes that was cooked from memory and never written down), I’ve done my best to recreate it from my own memory, and I think I’ve gotten it pretty close with this version.

Although not traditionally a Polish ingredient, my Babci added canned stewed tomatoes to her Kapusta which gives it an additional layer of flavor and really enhances the other ingredients in this dish.  Served with rye bread and butter, Kapusta is one of those dishes that just sends me back in time.  And Jack, who can’t get enough of this, wonders how on earth he missed out on this terrific Polish classic until he met me!

This post was originally published on A Family Feast in November 2012.

*Since originally publishing this recipe, several comments below have let me know that “Babcia” is the correct word for grandmother in Polish.  In my family, we simply called her Babci.

**Since originally publishing this recipe, a reader has let us know that this soup is also known as Kapusniak, or according to Wikipedia, Kapusta kiszona duszona.  Kapusta is the name that many Polish-American families like mine have given this soup.

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Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup) - A Family Feast

Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup)

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


A traditional Polish cabbage soup made with pork, cabbage, sauerkraut, onion, carraway seed and my Babci’s secret ingredient…stewed tomatoes to really enhance the flavors in this soup.


  • 34 pounds of meaty pork ribs such as country style ribs
  • 6 ounces diced salt pork (4 ounces after removing skin. The fatty type not the meaty type)
  • 1 ½ cups onion, about one large onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh sauerkraut with juice (found in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets)
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded (about 1 1/22 pounds)
  • 2 14½-ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds all-purpose potatoes
  • Rye bread and butter


  1. Place pork ribs in a large 8 quart heavy pot and cover the ribs with water almost to the top. Bring to a boil uncovered, lower to a fast simmer (low boil) and cook for 45 minutes, skimming off foam as they start to boil. Shut off burner and let them sit in the water for 15 minutes.
  2. While the pork is cooking, in a medium frying pan, cook the diced salt pork on a medium high flame for 2-3 minutes or until just starting to brown. Add onion to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until just starting to get tender. Reduce to medium heat, stir in the flour and sauté for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Once cooked, remove ribs from the pot and let cool. Save the liquid in the pot.
  4. To the pot of liquid, add the sauerkraut and juice, shredded cabbage, stewed tomatoes, caraway seeds and salt as well as the cooked salt pork and onion mixture.
  5. Cook over medium high heat until cabbage is cooked, approximately 30-35 minutes. While the cabbage mixture is cooking, remove the meat from the bones, shredding the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the cooked pork to the pot once the cabbage is tender and heat to serving temperature.
  6. Peel and quarter potatoes and place in cold sated water while cabbage mixture is cooking. Bring to a boil and over a medium boil, cook potatoes for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Drain water and cool potatoes to room temperature. Once the cabbage mixture has finished cooking, cut cooked potatoes into bite sized pieces and either add to the finished cabbage dish or serve on the side. (cooking in quarters and cutting after the fact will make them more firm and less mushy since less of the surface touched the boiling water.
  7. Serve with rye bread and butter for a traditional Polish meal.

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 Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup) - A Family Feast

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  • John Knight wrote:

    Hi Martha,
    Do you have a begos recipe?😆
    I hope that is the correct spelling.
    Cheers now.

  • Jane wrote:

    Your version of Kapusta soup style is very much the same as my grandmother’s. She would use spare ribs for flavor. Kapusta is basically the word for cabbage and everyone has their own family version , same as cabbage rolls. Seems to be regional. My family was from Southern Poland which has Austrian and Hungarian influence in their cuisine.

    • Martha wrote:

      I hope our recipe is half as delicious as your grandmother’s!

  • David wrote:

    I was wondering if red cabbage would work in this recipe?
    Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi David – You could, but it will likely turn the soup a pink color. If that doesn’t bother you, the flavor will be similar.

  • soltysiak wrote:

    this is almost exactly like my mom used to make. she didn’t add tomatoes or caraway seeds, and i don’t remember her using salt pork, but she sometimes did so maybe. there was one lady at church who put yellow split peas in hers, and i liked her version quite a bit.

    • Martha wrote:


  • Nancy Piotrowski wrote:

    Actually, kapusta is a braised sauerkraut dish. The soup is called kapusniak.

  • karen l obrien wrote:

    What can I use instead of salt pork?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Karen – The salt pork adds flavor and saltiness. You can use bacon (which will give the finished dish a little more of a smoky flavor) or just olive oil, then adjust the seasonings later on in the cooking process.

  • Lee wrote:

    Made this last night- a great comfort food. Just like my Busia used to make. I am planning to try more of your recipes. Thank you.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Lee – so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Pepper wrote:

    2/26/2020. By far the best thing I have ever eaten. I mean it. I don’t know why none of my family made this for us. Love it!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Pepper – My husband Jack said the exact same thing the first time he ate this soup. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!

  • frank Bojda wrote:

    Kapusta means cabbage, cabbage soup is Kapusniak. Grandmother is Bapca! great recipe by the way.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Frank!

  • Ginny Pokoj wrote:

    Good Morning – was reading with interest your recipe for Kapusta. It is so totally different from the one my husband’s mother made (and I have been making it now for almost 49 years). Would love to share our recipe with you if you would like to see it. Time to make some as well as getting my freezer stocked with pierogi and kiska. Have a blessed weekend.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ginny – I’d love to see your recipe! My email is [email protected] – thank you! (Agree…it’s time to make it again!) 🙂

  • sharon A ritzert wrote:

    It sounds like my mother receipe, except she would alway add a lg can of saurkraut that she drained the liquid off. I remember one day I was weeding my Mothers flower bed and thought the glass of liquid was lemonade. It instantly was spit out of my mouth. ZDon’t think I ever saw her laugh so hard.

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL – oh my goodness Sharon! (Bleh – that must have tasted horrible!)

  • David Siemens wrote:

    A late Polish friend taught me how to make this delicious dish. He got the recipe from his Polish grandma. Mike used pork ribs but added chunks of kielbasa and copious amounts of caraway seeds to the mix. It stewed for hours. When served with rye bread, it was heaven. Even better next day.

  • David wrote:

    Love it

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • J.B. Bulharowski wrote:

    Martha: How good of you to take all the “corrections,” so gracefully. My background is Slovak, and we called my grandmother Baba. Everybody had a version, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, etc. of Cabbage Soup. Whatever you remember works as long as some traditions from “the old country,” are remembered. In my 54 years of home-keeping, I have revised, refined and made my own riffs based on what my mom and grandmother made from memory. I have a Slovak cookbook given to me as a bride and even those recipes are different with regard to ingredients and reminiscences. This Christmas since there is only two of us I’m in the process of making my different version of Kapustnica in my Instant Pot; which should be a revelation. Wish me luck, and thank you for helping me relive some ethnic memories.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you for your note J.B! I guess I can understand the passion behind some of the other comments – and I think you are 100% correct – as long as the traditions are remembered, it’s all good! Merry Christmas – I hope your recipe is delicious!

  • Helaine wrote:


    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Helaine!

  • Gloria Maley wrote:

    I visited my Babci every Sunday also, and spelled Babci as you did. Many special meals and memories will remain with me forever.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for writing to us today Gloria – special memories for sure!

  • Paul wrote:

    Excellant! My wife is Polish and always talked about her Babci’s cabbage soup and apple-raisin pudding. Soup came out almost excactly as she had remembered it. Thanx for recreating one of her childhood memories. The tomatos added a nice taste addition to the broth. Any recipes for the pudding?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Paul – So glad you and your wife enjoyed the recipe (and the memories with it!). I don’t recall my own grandmother or mother making an apple raisin pudding unfortunately. I also looked in an old Polish cookbook that I inherited from my grandmother/mother – no luck either. We do have an Apple Pudding recipe on our site (my husband Jack’s recipe) and we have a Sour Cream Pudding Cake (with raisins) – maybe one of those could be adapted to match the version your wife remembers? Hope that helps!

  • Monica VanBeekum wrote:

    I can’t wait to try this! My mom changed most of her traditional recipes to be easier and healthier. Our kapusta is served with kielbasa and isn’t soupy. Every family has their beloved recipes. I stopped using saltpork because my dad and sister couldn’t tolerate the fat. I use a little olive oil instead.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love the recipe Monica! We also have a Bigos recipe on our site (that recipe includes kielbasa) that you might enjoy too!

  • Leo E . Sancho (Szenko) wrote:

    We don’t eat Pork. Can we substitute some other meat .? Has someone tried it with beef?, Chicken? ….

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Leo – Pork is traditional but I think some meat beef ribs could work (you’ve peaked our interest!). Please let us know how it comes out!

  • Sam wrote:

    I’d love to make this tonight, I have a bunch of pork chops in the fridge do you think I could use those in this recipe? I’m very excited to try this at home, thanks for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sam – In a pinch they will work but ideally, you’d want the rib bones for the best flavor.

  • Katherine wrote:

    I grew up Russian-Ukrainian and we called my grandma babci (like babcia) and we called our sauerkraut soup kapusta. My dad used to use pork spare ribs in his

    • Martha wrote:

      Very interesting Katherine! We’ve received a lot of comments about calling our Grandmother ‘babci’ instead of ‘babcia’ – I always assumed it was our Americanized version of the name. Sounds like there are a lot of similarities with our family’s names and kapusta recipe! 🙂

  • Aniela Meyer wrote:

    Amazing recipe, by the way it is Babcia not Babci –

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Charlotte Vasil wrote:

    My grandmother was from Lithuania and on Christmas Eve she would serve a similar soup with shrimp instead of pork ribs. Does anyone have a recipe?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Charlotte – I hope someone reading this has a recipe for you! I did Google Lithuanian cabbage soup and found several versions, but none with shrimp. Sounds delicious!

  • Maggi wrote:

    Just like my grandma’s. Every recipe I have of hers includes fry an onion in salt pork or chicken fat. Stuffed cabbage, kapusta (and yes we called it that also). Nothing was written down I went to my mother’s and watched and wrote. My grandma died when I was 16 she was 86.

    • Jack wrote:

      Oh yes! Fried onions and salt pork are must-include ingredients in the best Polish cooking! 🙂 Thanks for writing to us today Maggi!

  • Bill Jones wrote:

    I love cabbage soup but never tried a Polish recipe. I will give it a try. By the way my mother is 100% Polish and she taught me years ago that the word for grandmother is Babushka:)

    • Martha wrote:

      I hope you love the recipe Bill! 🙂

  • Gwyneviere wrote:

    Hi I’m glad I found your website. I’m a huge fan of making my own bone broth; so when I cooked bbq spare ribs last night I couldn’t bear to throw them out! They are simmering now and I wonder if the broth would work as a base for your soup? It definitely has a bbq flavour to it. Also there is not meat left, what would you suggest to add as some extra meat…I don’t want anything to fatty as there is enough from the bones and trimmings. Thanks so much for any suggestions!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Gwyneviere – Absolutely – you can use the leftover broth. I think a smokey BBQ flavor would be a nice addition. If you want to stay with pork – you could add in some chunks of lean, pre-cooked tenderloin. I would just add it in right before eating since it will get tough if over cooked. (Alternately, it would still be delicious as more of a vegetable soup!) Hope that helps!

  • Jennifer Fryc wrote:

    I had two “Babcis” and they both signed their names as “Babci”. I love this recipe – I have kapusta in my freezer and I was just wondering if it could be a soup. Thanks for posting!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Jennifer! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Alessia wrote:

    It’s KAPUŚNIAK not kapusta. Kapusta means solely “cabbage” 😀

    • Leslie Kelley wrote:

      Yup-it is Kapusniak and kapusta. This recipe is very similar to my Bachia’s but I am also adding some peppercorns as I remember those in her recipe and adding alot more diced tomatoes in addition to the stewed tomatoes as it looks way too thick at this point. No kilbasa which she also did not use in her recipe just pork which I browned vs boiling. I think I have way too many potatoes also! Thanks so much for posting this recipe as it is cold in FL today-think it is 60 so soup for us today!

      • Martha wrote:

        You’re welcome Leslie! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Liz wrote:

    I looked at the recipe above again and realized that it actually resembled bigos or hunter’s stew more than kapuśniak (a soup). To compare below is a link to a wonderful recipe I tested several times. It is by Anne Applebaum from her book “From the Polish Country Kitchen”

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks again Liz! We recently posted a Bigos recipe on our site and agree – our family recipe for Kapusta does resemble Bigos but different meats and flavors. We appreciate you sharing all of this great info with our readers!

  • Liz wrote:

    Because of Polish complicated grammar, both “babcia” and “babci” are correct. I recommend
    an article on Polish language to anyone interested.
    Polish language has as many as 7 grammatical cases and because of that the word “babcia” can
    have several endings:
    This is my grandmother To jest moja babcia
    This is my grandmother’s recipe To jest przepis mojej babci.
    I am going to visit with my grandmother Odwiedzę moją babcię
    I need to talk to my grandmother Muszę porozmawiać z moją babcią.

    The polish equivalent of “my” has different endings, too.

    “Kapusta” means “cabbage” in Polish. “Kapusta kiszona” or “kapusta kwaszona” is
    sauekraut” Soup made with cabbage and/or sauerkraut is “kapuśniak”

    • Liz wrote:

      I forgot to add that the article on Polish language is available on Wikipedia.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Liz!

  • Andreina wrote:

    My grandma kapusta is more like a stew. It has no tomato, just pork, cabbage, onions, pepper. I think i will try this version someday. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy our version Andriena! (Your grandma’s version sounds delicious!)

  • Walt wrote:

    Kapusta means cabbage, not cabbage soup.
    That soup is called Kapuśniak.

  • Julie wrote:

    For some mysterious reason, this morning I had a hankering for Kapusta. My friend Pat gave me her family recipe years ago and we loved it on cold Chicago winter nights. I just spent an hour looking for her recipe in my old recipe box, without success. Sadly, I’ve lost track of my friend over the years, and remember searching online for the recipe several years ago, but coming up empty. Pinterest came to my rescue with your recipe! This is it, complete with the tomatoes, except Pat used bone-in pork chops. Thank you – I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

    • Martha wrote:

      I hope you love the recipe Julie!

  • James Nault wrote:

    The original owners of the crocus restruant in milwaukee Andy and ella were the providers of the best of the polish dishes and soups. alas they have retired and with them the great recepies that wont easily or cant be duplicated by those who come after to replace them. Only the polenez restruant on the south side of milwaukee still stands to serve the taste buds of these tasty polish delights.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a wonderful restaurant James!

  • Aniela wrote:

    My Babcia, also made the most amazing Kapusniak. I still make it today for my family. My father was from Poland and I remember travelling over there each summer and having this most wonderful dish amongst others.

    • Martha wrote:

      What a great memory Aniela! 🙂 Thank you for writing to us today!

  • Vicky wrote:

    A favorite! Love this soup!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Vicky!

  • Mary Pultorak wrote:

    My parents and their children were born in Poland. Our kapusta was not a soup but simply cabbage that was rendered down with bacon and onion. I will try this recipe though.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for writing to us Mary! I’ve learned from all of the comments on this recipe that each family seems to have their own version – or perhaps my grandmother made it into a soup to stretch the ingredients to feed a larger family when money was tight! Hope you enjoy our version!

  • Lee Ann wrote:

    We also spelled her name Babci instead of Babcia. I was told it may have something to do with where in Poland she was from? Interesting! Someday I will also use the name Babci! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lee Ann! (Someday I will use the name Babci too!) 🙂

  • Joan Symecko wrote:

    Hi, just wanted to say how delicious this Kapusta is. Made it the other day and my husband ( both sets of his grand parents came from Poland) raved about it. This recipe is a definite keeper. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Joan! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

  • Diane and Terrie wrote:

    Your recipie for Kapusta brought back so many memories for my sister and I. It is exactly what we remember our Mom and Babchi used to make (down to the rye bread and butter). The pictures evoked memories of the wonderful aroma of that beloved soup when we walked in the door for a family gathering. The dinner always included all the Polish treasured dishes and ended with a night of dancing in the kitchen to polkas played by our aunt and uncle. Thank you so much for the thought, love (and memories) you put in to resurecting this treasured part of our tradition. Na, zdrowie!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Diane and Terrie! Your memories sound wonderful and I’m so glad our recipe reminded you of them!

  • Joanna wrote:

    Hi Steve,
    I came across your recipe site. I am Polish (born and raised), although I now live in Puerto Rico. Just wanted to let you know that the word for grandmother is Babcia (not Babci – Babci means “to (or of) grandmother). Anyway, the soup you have here is actually a variation of Bigos, a polish cabbage soup. Kapusta simply means cabbage. 🙂
    Anyway, thanks for spreading the word about awesome Polish cooking.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joanna!

  • karen mulrooney wrote:

    Martha: So glad I found your website! I grew up on Kapusta soup – Ukrainian/Russian grsndmother from Kiev. She like most of her generation never used recipes – everything cooked by taste and experience. Your recipe is the closest to hers. She used potatoes in hers and no tomatoes. My grandparents grew and canned everything they grew. Made their own sourkraut as well. I have missed her cooking for years and no one in the family has been able to duplicate her recipe – but tried. It was a big deal for us kids to go to Grammy’s for kapusta soup – all cousins no parents allowed for our lunch! Accompanied with rye bread and gsrlic rubbed in salt then rubbbed on the bread crust – delicious.

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m so glad you found us too Karen! Your memories sound really wonderful! The Polish foods I grew up with are so ingrained in my memory (and tastebuds)! I hope you enjoy trying our recipes!

  • Evelinka wrote:

    I am going to make Kapusta for a young man who said he hasn’t had it since he was very young.
    Actually, I am Japanese, but like to make Kapusta for my friends. I use Kielbasa sausage,
    make sure to get the fat out by first boiling it, then sautéing it. The rest is like most of the recipes
    with cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and onions. A little wine vinegar is added at the end to give it
    a little tang.
    My Polish friends use all kinds of meat. One lady even uses wieners.
    It’s a good cold weather dish.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a great variation Evelinka! And I agree – it’s a perfect cold weather dish!

  • Peter hirschmanner wrote:

    A very dear friend,RIP, used to make this soup with pork ribs and pork and beans, any recipes with that version, it was lite and soupy and extremely tasty

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing such a nice memory Peter! I hope you enjoy our version!

  • Vicky wrote:

    I made this last night for dinner[even though it was 85 dgs.], and it was delicious! I didn’t use the carraway, but I did add 2 bay leaves to the simmering pork and discarded when the pork was tender. Although I didn’t use all of the zaprashka[sp? the onion roux] it was very thick and almost stew like. I added some water to thin it out a bit. We had leftovers tonight, and I felt like it needed a little something, so I added a few shakes of red wine vinegar which I always add when I make my version of cabbage soup, and it was over the top with a tangy taste.. That is what my mother and grandmother always did. The soup was very thick tonight. My 11 year old grand daughter loved it. I am of Slovakian decent, so I know cabbage soup! Thank you for sharing your recipe.


    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Vicky! I love the way you’ve adapted the flavors – I will definitely have to try that the next time we make this dish!

      • Vicky wrote:

        Making again tonight since it’s 60 dgs., raining, and windy! So fall. I love it! I’m also making a Slovakian potato dish with hard boiled eggs, sour cream , boiled potatoes, Polish sausage, and butter. Pumpernickel bread on the side. YUMM!!

        • Martha wrote:

          Sounds delicious Vicky!! 🙂

  • Lauren wrote:

    Thanks for reminding me of a meal I haven’t had in a long time ! We did not use tomatoes but used mushrooms, and we had potatoes that we made with salt pork and onions, we would render the fat from the salt pork and carmilize the onions in the fat then we would mash the potatoes with the fat the onions and the fried bits of salt pork !! Heaven in a pot, and serve it with the Kupusta

    • Martha wrote:

      Oooh – your potatoes do sound heavenly Lauren! I think we’ll have to try that ourselves! Thanks for taking the time to write to us!

  • Margaret wrote:

    I just made a big pot of Kapusta. I was hoping for the best as I had not made it in some time. My husband’s Mother showed me how to make it. She used pork steak as her choice of meat and always added cooked Keilbasa at the end. I do not care for Caraway. I use fresh cabbage sliced thin with enough water to cover it and add sour kraut with juice. I brown the pork steak and chop up a couple of onions and let them cook together till the meat is tender. I usually add a touch of gravy master and water to the pork while cooking. I like to taste test to make sure flavor is to my liking. The longer it sets, the better it tastes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing your recipe Margaret! It sounds delicious – and I totally agree! Kapusta DOES seem to taste better the longer it sits. Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us today!

  • steve wrote:

    i absolutely love this soup ive been eating it for many years now…my family owned a polish/american restaurant in utica ny for years…my variation of it is using a pork butt in a slow cooker instead of rib meat…it cuts out the salt pork n is much healthier…the tomatoes r genius it adds an acidity to the dish…i also use polish dried mushrooms that i get at the polish specialty store in my area…called polaski’s….theyre kielbasa is amazing and the polish ham krukuska is as well….i also add shinkova..(i know i didnt spell that right but its a ringed meat served cold) to my soup……love this recipe!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Steve! We love your suggestions and definitely want to try adding mushrooms the next time we make this soup!! Thanks for writing!

  • charlotte Pekrul wrote:

    I agree with many of the writers, kapusta is cabbage, cooked usually with onions and some pork, pork fat and even better sausage. used as a side dish or stuffing in pierogies.

    My grandmothers soup, cabbage, light sourkraut and pork was reserved for just after wigilia, prior to that it was fish and fruit pierogies.

    I think that her receipe is most close to the truth, it was a clear light broth of vegetables light on the raw cabbage,onion carrots celery parsley simmered with pork riblets or pork buttons for a longer period of time,pork meat set aside, drained of the stock vegetables. added with a touch of sourkraut and small amount of barley cooked slowly but not til cloudy
    home made jarred wild mushrooms slices were set on top of the soup with a cube of boiled potato, and a small amount of the pork (cleaned just to the meat)
    the only spices used were a touch of marjoram, salt and pepper during cooking

    MAGIC !

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Charlotte!!

  • Oksana wrote:

    I happened to come across your website from a pinterest email, and I have got to say I will be trying your recipes!! They all look so good, and my husband loves soups so I am always looking for something new too. Im Ukrainian and this soup has its twists because we make a similar one! (im currently using and to make recipes that remind me of my childhood as well) Im pretty sure you will find some foods there that are similar to what your grandmother had made as well.
    I look forward to trying out your recipes. Thank you 🙂

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Thank you so much Oksana! I will definitely check those sites for some familiar recipes! We’re glad you found us and thanks for writing to us!

  • Elizabeth Insley wrote:

    Being Polish myself, I came to the US when I was 5 years old. As you described, we called it kapusta. Kapusniak was more of a broth soup with very little cabbage in it. It had more of a sauerkraut taste as was made often for Wigilia (Christmas Eve dinner with no meat)
    My correction will be with “Babci”. Here is a great internet explanation I found. “Babcia in polish language means Grandmother. Babci is used with other words such as: “od babci” (from grandmother), “do babci” (to grandmother), “u babci” (at grandmother’s place) and few others. In english you must add words such as “from”, “to”, “with” while noun’s or verb’s form stays the same. In polish despite using the same words as in english you must change form (precisely the ending) of noun, verb or any other part of speech. Both forms exisist in polish but they’re being used in different situations.”

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Elizabeth! I’m enjoying hearing from so many readers in response to this post! I remember my mother and grandmother talking about my great grandmother and calling her Babcia. Perhaps it was shortened to Babci for my grandmother in an attempt to Americanize it a bit – but I’m not entirely sure, and unfortunately my mother is no longer alive to ask. Clearly I don’t know or pretend to be an expert on Polish language or foods – only what my family taught us and the names we used on a day to day basis. Thanks again for writing! Martha

  • Bette I wrote:

    Today I am making our version of Kapusta. No tomatoes in our version or onions. It contains cabbage, sauerkraut, barley, sprinkle of black pepper and pork. I make it more like a stew, more thick than soup. My husband’s mother used to make it whenever she came to visit us. It is one of the few recipes I make to remember our family’s Polish heritage. I am sure that my version has become Amerianized. My son (now 50 years old) requests a “Polish feast” for his birthday presents– I make and freeze packages of kapusta,stuffed cabbage rolls and pierogis, he is thrilled!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds wonderful Bette! And your “Polish feast” sounds very much like the ones my family ate! Thank you for visiting our site! Martha

  • Suzie wrote:

    :)) Look really tasty. When I was a child I really hated that soup, but when I get older and grandma’s meals stop being usuall for me I missed it so much.
    BTW. It’s not Kapusta. Kapusta means cabbage and it’s one of ingredients. The name of the soup is “Kapusniak”

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Suzie! My family and others we knew all called it Kapusta but I’ll update the post to reflect the correct name for the recipe! Thanks for visiting our site! Martha

  • Sandi and David wrote:

    That’s a very sweet story. Food has a way of bringing you back in time.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sandi! It really does…have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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