Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup


3 tablespoons butter
1 medium or large Vidalia or sweet type onion, peeled, chopped
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, seeded, chopped (optional)
1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled, minced (optional)
2 1/2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
5 or 6 cups finely shredded green or red cabbage
1 or 2 cans crushed tomatoes (to taste)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (to taste)
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 Knorr Bouillon cubes dissolved in 6 cups hot water
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sour cream
Fresh Chives, finely minced (optional)


Heat butter over low heat in a large pot. Add onions and peppers and stir, cooking over medium-low heat until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic (optional) and cook while stirring for about one minute -- Don't brown the garlic. It will get bitter. Stir in brown sugar. Add cabbage and continue to stir fry for 4 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar and chicken broth/stock and bring to a slow boil. Season with black pepper, to taste. Cook soup about 20 minutes, boiling gently, uncovered to combine flavors. Cabbage should be tender. Don't overcook. Add chicken broth or water if a thinner soups is desired. Taste and adjust seasoning with vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, as needed. Serve hot with about a tablespoon of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives on top of each bowl if desired.

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