Sarma Soup

Ivana Skoko
(I don’t have exact measurements for these ingredients, because you just feel it, man.)
Cuisine Comfort Food
Servings 4 people


  • Olive oil/butter
  • Pickled, shredded cabbage or Sauerkraut
  • 1 lb or so ground meat (traditionally half pork, half beef)
  • Smoked špeck, pancetta or smoked bones
  • Onion(s)
  • Crushed garlic
  • About a cup of uncooked rice
  • Bay leaves
  • Tomato sauce or puree
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Water or broth
  • The following spices to taste: vegeta (tablespoon-ish), paprika (couple, two-three tablespoons), salt, pepper


  • Heat oil/melt butter into a stock pot or Dutch oven. Cook the onion for a few minutes until transparent over medium heat. Add crushed garlic and stir. Add in the cabbage and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using Sauerkraut make sure to drain and rinse or you will have a pot of salt.)
  • In a separate pan, brown the speck. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Brown ground meat into the speck drippings, adding in spices. Cook, stirring frequently until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess grease and place the meat into the pot with the cabbage.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce/puree and water/broth into the pot, bringing it to a boil.
  • Add in rice and bay leaf reduce heat to a low or medium low.
  • Cook until rice is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.