By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook Photograph courtesy of Tommy C. Simmons
Stuffed Cabbage Soup replicates the flavors of stuffed cabbage rolls and is easier to assemble.
I was a little late getting cabbage planted so I picked up a hefty cabbage head at R & A Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia when I went there to buy apples last week. Cabbage is one of those “bossy-tasting” vegetables you either love or disdain. I like cabbage in salads, soups, slaws and casseroles. My husband never met a cabbage dish he liked.
Needless to say, my cabbage recipes must be cut down to smaller numbers of servings or adapted so they can be frozen. One of the latter category is Stuffed Cabbage Soup.
The soup can be frozen in single serve portions to satisfy a comfort food craving on a winter day. The original recipe by Mary Spencer of Taste: A Cook’s Place, a cooking school in Northville, Michigan, was featured in the AJC newspaper in Atlanta. I made several changes and am sharing my version.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Stuffed Cabbage Soup
Serves 8. Recipe is from Mary Spencer with changes by Tommy C. Simmons.
1 lb. lean ground beef
¼ tsp. salt or more if needed for desired taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
Three dashes of Tabasco Chipotle Sauce or regular Tabasco Sauce
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
¼ cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
1 carrot, finely sliced
¼ cup chopped butternut squash (optional)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 ½ tsps. sweet paprika
½ tsp. dried crumbled thyme leaves
1 tbl. cane syrup, molasses or brown sugar
2 (14.5-oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
5 cups beef broth or stock
4 cups shredded and chopped green cabbage
1 cup cooked brown rice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, optional
In a large soup pot set over medium high heat, brown the ground beef, using a potato masher to break the meat into small pieces as it browns. Drain off most of the fat and discard the fat.
Add the salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper and Tabasco to the beef. Stir to distribute seasoning and then add the chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot, squash (f desired) and cloves to the seasoned meat. Cover pot and simmer the vegetables and meat over medium heat to soften the vegetables.
Uncover and stir in the paprika, thyme leaves and sweetener of choice. I like the cane syrup if you can find it, but molasses or brown sugar works fine, too. Add the canned tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and beef broth. Simmer together for 10 minutes or longer to bring the meat, vegetables and broth mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat and stir in the cabbage. Cover and cook until the cabbage is soft. Takes about 30 minutes.
You can either stir the cooked brown rice into the cabbage soup or ladle the soup over a spoonful of cooked rice in a soup bowl. To serve garnish each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a parsley sprig.
Testing note: Leftovers can be frozen. This is a catch-all kind of soup so if you want to add other vegetables to the pot, go right ahead.
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