Paprika really adds something to cabbage, those hints of sweet, gentle heat seem to take the edge off cabbage’s sulfurous side. Whatever, this is a good soup. Good rye bread and cheese would round out this meal!

3 T butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 c chopped onion
4 c thinly sliced cabbage
salt, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T paprika (smoked paprika is great here!)
1 t dried dill, or to taste
6 c broth or stock
1 large carrot, (peeled) grated
2 T tomato paste or 1/2 c chopped tomatoes (canned are fine)
2 T lemon juice
2 t sugar or other sweetener, optional
pepper, to taste
sour cream or yogurt, for serving, optional (but good and Eastern European authentic)

1. Melt butter or heat oil in a soup pot. Sauté onion gently for about 8 minutes, then add cabbage and some salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, paprika, and dill and cook, stirring, for another minute.

2. Add the broth, carrot, tomato paste or tomatoes, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the lemon juice, and, if you’d like to make this a soup with a sweet-and-sour edge, the sugar. Grate in some pepper. Taste for seasonings, and serve, with a dollop or two of sour cream in each bowl.