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Corned Beef with Cabbage Soup

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  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) corned beef brisket
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices, tied in a square of cheesecloth
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 1 small head (about 1 1/2 pounds) green or white cabbage, washed and drained
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • Snipped fresh dill or dried dill (optional)


  1. Rinse corned beef well under cold running water, then place in a 5- to 6-quart lidded pot. Cover with the cold water and bring to a full boil; drain. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, pickling spices, onions and celery. Cover with the hot water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer slowly for 31/2 to 4 hours, or until meat is very tender.
  2. Remove corned beef; discard pickling spices and bay leaf. Cut corned beef into thick slices; return to cooking liquid. Note: At this point, the cooking liquid and corned beef can be transferred to a large shallow container, briefly cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.
  3. Shortly before serving, cut cabbage into quarters; slice into thin shreds and add to soup. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, just until cabbage is limp but still bright green.
  4. Serve immediately in large soup bowls, placing a slice or two of the beef into each bowl and adding some of the vegetables and broth. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and fresh or dried dill, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.