Red Soup


2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage

1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup sliced leek, well-rinsed of grit

2 medium carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 stalk celery, sliced

8 cups water

1 6-oz can tomato paste

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 2 lb piece well-trimmed boneless beef brisket

1/2 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas (optional)

Favorite matzah ball recipe (optional), such as Creole matzah balls (below)


In a soup pot, place the cabbage, potato, onion, turnip, leek, carrots, celery, water, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir  to mix well. There should be enough water to barely cover the vegetables; if not, add more — but don’t make the soup too thin.

Add the brisket; stir again, and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the brisket is tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove from heat. Remove the brisket from the soup.

For the best flavor, cover the soup, wrap the brisket, and refrigerate both overnight.

To serve, skim any fat from the soup. Cut the brisket into 1-inch pieces and return to the soup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if necessary. If desired, add the peas and cook an additional 2 minutes. Serve hot with matzah balls, if you wish.

Yield: 6 generous servings; more if you add matzah balls.