Stuffed Cabbage Soup

February 1, 2008 | Chuck
Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Stuffed cabbage soup is not the most photogenic dish I've made recently. While it lacks the prettiness or sophistication of other meals, it makes up for it in flavor and comfort. I love stuffed cabbage, but it takes too long to make on a workday. So I took all the ingredients of stuffed cabbage and transformed it into an easy to make soup.

I basically made a cabbage soup with ground beef and served it over rice. The steamed rice is made separately and not cooked in the soup. A typical Vietnamese family-style meal usually consists of bowls of rice, a meat or fish dish, stir-fried vegetables and a bowl of soup (canh). The soup is ladled over the rice. Two examples of canh are bitter melon soup and sour shrimp soup.

Naturally, I applied this canh concept to my stuffed cabbage soup and had the rice on the side. The soup is a cinch to prepare and can be ready in thirty minutes. I wanted to use ground turkey in the soup, but my butcher ran out early, so I used ground sirloin instead. To allow the cabbage to shine, I only put a small can of diced tomatoes in the recipe. Remember, I have a low tart tolerance and I love cabbage.

The end result is the flavors of stuffed cabbage in the form of a hearty soup. Hungry Bear and I enjoyed it immensely, and it kept us warm and comfy for a few meals. If you ever get a craving for stuffed cabbage, but don't have the time or energy to make the traditional rolls, definitely give this soup a try.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe

SND Note: The quantity of chicken stock is dependent on the size of the head of cabbage. Remember, the soup is served over rice, which will soak up the soup. If you want a traditional soup consistency, add more stock.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 lb ground beef, ground turkey or ground pork
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 cloves of garlic, chopped 
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons paprika
6-7 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 head of cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded 
4-6 cups of steamed rice

1) In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground meat, break into small pieces and partially brown for 2-3 minutes. Drain excess fat, if necessary. Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, garlic and onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until onions are soft.

2) Add thyme, parsley and paprika to ground meat and cook for 30 seconds. Add 6 cups chicken stock, tomatoes and 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, add cabbage, cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until cabbage is desired tenderness. Add additional chicken stock if necessary and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve over rice.

Makes 8 servings

[tags]cabbage, stuffed cabbage, soup, thyme, paprika, ground beef, easy, tomato, ground turkey[/tags]

24 Comments on “Stuffed Cabbage Soup”

  1. canarygirl said:

    This looks SO delicious!

  2. JEP said:

    Your photos are stunning!!

  3. vanessa said:

    brilliant idea. this is definitely on my list of soups-to-make.

  4. Terry B said:

    I know photographing something like this is a challenge, but you rose to the challenge beautifully! It sounds hearty and delicious for a cold winter night. For a little more zesty alternative, you might consider hot Italian sausage in this.

  5. Hey Chuck,

    Thanks for the link. Funny. Funny. I was just thinking before I read it in your post that you sure know how to make cabbage and ground meat look appetizing! I was just thinking of all the canh I usually eat but don’t photograph because they’re just not that photogenic but after seeing yours, maybe I should try anyway. :P

  6. Chuck said:

    Nikki & JEP, Thanks!

    Vanessa, let me how it turns out when you make it.

    Terry B, good call on the hot Italian sausage. I love it and would use it more often, if I weren’t trying to eat a little healthier. The last few months of 2007 were filled with too many rich, heavy meals.

    WC, no problem. I love the food on your site. It’s very comforting to me. Take more pictures of your canh! It is what it is… authentic Viet food.

  7. Annina said:

    I really like your blog and so I added your link on my one! Hope this is ok for you! So… go on like this! Greetings from Switzerland, Annina (Ann)

  8. Kevin said:

    Great idea to turn stuffed cabbage into a hearty and tasty looking soup!

  9. Vicki said:

    Hi Chuck –
    I just made this soup, and it’s great! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Christine said:

    Chuck – Low tart tolerance, huh? Hmmm, does that mean Canh Chua is not on your favorites list? :) I agree, making cabbage rolls is a bit much for a weeknight. Yet I wonder, how did our mothers do it? Your dish looks like a great way to get all the flavors and comfort from this dish with less work.

  11. Jen Yu said:

    Oh that looks amazingly appetizing right now. I like this deconstructed take on a favorite. Serious comfort food. mmmm :)

  12. Angie said:

    I have been craving a hearty soup lately and this was exactly what I was looking for. I made it for dinner tonight and it was perfect! I used ground turkey and added a ton more paprika and garlic because those flavors are wonderful. I also used brown rice instead of white just to be a bit healthier and the soup went over it beautifully. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Michelle said:

    Wow! love this site… ran into it while looking to replicate my favorite Peruvian roast chicken.

    The soup looks wonderful and will be added to my list of new foods to try.

  14. Amy said:

    My boyfriend and I just made this using ground elk tonight for dinner, and it was great. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Hi!
    I wanted the taste of stuffed cabbage w/o having to make the rolls so I googled “Stuffed Cabbage Soup” and up popped your blog!
    Your yummy looking pics. told me that your recipe might be just what I’m looking for.
    I followed your recipe using organic ground round and fire-roasted toms. and boy did it turn out good!
    I had it for lunch and I’ll be serving it to my family tonight for dinner too!
    Thanx for a great recipe! Laura

  16. Kenya said:

    Hi there! I made your soup over the weekend using ground turkey and it turned out fabulous. I’ve never had stuffed cabbage rolls so I don’t know about the grueling labor behind making them, but this soup did not disappoint. Just as you mentioned, it was easy and hearty. Someone mentioned using hot italian sausage…that sounds great and I think I’ll try that next time. I had some carrots that I needed to use so I added about a cup of chopped carrots to my soup. Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe. I loved it and look forward to making it again.

    You have a wonderful website, and may I just add that I’m jealous of your range? :o)


  18. Patti said:

    Cooked this tonight and it was great! I was afraid it would remind my hubby of the ole Dolly Cabbage soup but not so! It was yummy, thanks.

  19. Terese said:

    I tried your recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Soup, and it was wonderful.

    I added more tomatoes because I used from the garden and we like tomatoes. Instead of just one cabbage, I put in three different varieties red, green and napa.
    I didn’t have enough of any one, so I compromised. It came out great!

    Thanks for helping us decide what to eat for supper. We were undecided and I started looking around the internet for recipes with stuff I had in my kitchen. This was quick and easy and came out great!

    Thanks a bunch for the recipe. It’s now added to our family meal plan.

  20. Melynda said:

    Serving this today for Sunday Cafe, thanks.


  21. renate said:

    This was the 2nd Sunday Nite dinner recipe I tried and I was not disappointed. Soooo delicious! Thank you :)

  22. sarah said:

    i made this 2 time so far and its a favorite of mine . and it’s so easy to make . my husband also loves it and he hates cabbage. so yummy

  23. lydia said:

    i made this for dinner last night and it was excellent! we were craving something warm but not too heavy on spice and this was perfect. the only thing i did differently was i added 2 – 3 tbsp of worcestershire sauce. it was just kind of an after thought and it really gave the soup a deep savory flavor without going too heavy on spices. i used ground turkey. next time i’d like to try it with pork or even beef chunks. i also used half a head of cabbage instead of a whole. even so i would still add an additional 2 – 3 cups of broth next time.


  1. Stuffed cabbage soup | Shakashakere

    […] Stuffed Cabbage Soup | Sunday Nite DinnerFeb 1, 2008 … The end result is the flavors of stuffed cabbage in the form of a hearty soup. Hungry Bear and I enjoyed it immensely, and it kept us warm … […]

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