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 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]