Fresh Shchi With Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 8-10
  • 10 - 12 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2½ cups)
  • ½ cabbage head, shredded
  • ½ - 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, or ½ of a large bell pepper, julienne
  • 1 lb ground chicken (or ground turkey, ground pork, ground beef)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼-1/3 cup milk
  • 1½ Tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated, optional (you can use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder instead)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper
To Serve:
  • fresh herbs, minced (dill, parsley, green onions)
  • sour cream (to serve with the soup, optional)
  1. Pour the water into a large pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and cabbage to the boiling water. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt the butter and add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the tomatoes and pepper. Season with salt and pepper again and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetables to the soup.
  5. Cook the soup at a simmer for about 20 minutes total, until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Make the meatballs while the soup is cooking.
  7. Mix all the ingredients together, the ground meat, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, sour cream, grated onion, garlic, if using, salt and ground black pepper. The meatball mixture will be very soft. That's normal and will make the meatballs super juicy and tender.
  8. Form small meatballs using damp hands and drop them into the simmering soup.
  9. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the meatballs have cooked through.
  10. Take the soup off the heat and garnish with fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley and green onions. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at