Hearty Cabbage Roll Soup

From the first spoonful of Hearty Cabbage Roll Soup, I was transported back to the cozy warmth of my grandmother’s kitchen. This soup, with its rich tomato broth, tender cabbage, and savory ground beef, encapsulates the essence of traditional cabbage rolls without the fuss of rolling. It’s a straightforward, hearty dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights, offering the comforting flavors of a home-cooked meal with minimal effort. My family adored the soup’s depth of flavor and the satisfying blend of vegetables and rice. It’s a recipe that proves simplicity can be incredibly delicious and comforting, making it a frequent request at our dinner table.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
  • 2 peeled, quartered, and sliced carrots
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Start by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the ground beef with a bit of salt and pepper until it’s browned.
  2. Mix in the onion and garlic, continuing to cook until they’re soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage, carrots, beef broth, tomato sauce, rice, bay leaf, and brown sugar to the pot. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Let the soup simmer until the rice is tender, which should take about 25 minutes.
  5. Once done, remove and discard the bay leaf, then garnish the soup with parsley before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: 6
  • Calories per Serving: 263 kcal

Preparation Time

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Additional Tips

  1. Enhancing Flavor: For a deeper flavor, consider browning the beef well and letting the onions caramelize slightly.
  2. Rice Alternatives: Brown rice can be used instead of long grain rice for added nutrients, though cooking time may increase.
  3. Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add more vegetables like bell peppers or celery for extra nutrition and flavor.
  4. Broth Choices: Using homemade beef broth can elevate the taste of the soup significantly.
  5. Serving Suggestions: Serve this hearty soup with a side of crusty bread for dipping.

FAQ Section

  1. Can I make this soup in a slow cooker? Yes, after browning the beef and sautéing the onions and garlic, transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Is it possible to use ground turkey instead of beef? Absolutely, ground turkey is a great leaner alternative that works well in this soup.
  3. Can I freeze cabbage roll soup? Yes, this soup freezes beautifully. Cool it down and store in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
  4. How can I thicken the soup? If you prefer a thicker soup, you can dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a little water and stir it into the soup during the last few minutes of cooking.
  5. Can I add more rice if I like it thicker? Yes, feel free to adjust the amount of rice according to your preference, but remember that adding more rice will also absorb more broth.
  6. What can I use instead of tomato sauce? Crushed tomatoes or tomato paste diluted with water are good substitutes for tomato sauce.
  7. How do I adjust if the soup is too sweet? Reduce the amount of brown sugar or add a splash of vinegar to balance the sweetness.
  8. Can I omit the rice? Yes, the soup can be made without rice for a lower carb option, or you can substitute it with quinoa or barley.
  9. What is the best way to reheat the soup? Reheat gently on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
  10. Can I make this vegetarian? Yes, substitute the ground beef with lentils or a meat substitute, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Hearty Cabbage Roll Soup is not just a meal; it’s comfort in a bowl, perfect for cold evenings or when you’re in need of a warm, nutritious hug. Its simplicity, combined with the rich, fulfilling flavors of a home-cooked meal, makes it a beloved recipe in any household. Follow these tips and FAQs to ensure your soup is as delightful and satisfying as it can be, bringing joy and comfort to your dinner table.