Winter is for Soup

When the mercury dips low and the winds whistle outside your door, there's little that's more comforting than a hot bowl of soup. That can be even more so when the soup is inspired by other classic comfort food. This time around, that inspiration is stuffed cabbage rolls and the soup couldn't be more warming.

You'll note that I did not specify mild or spicy Italian sausage in this recipe. Choose what works for you. I like spicy sausage as it gives the soup some kick, but you could opt for mild or even a blend. Make it yours. There are a lot of flavor enhancers in this soup; whether it's lemon juice or paprika, they all work together to give it the telltale stuffed cabbage roll flavor. You can opt to tweak it if you must, but this blend gives me what I most remember about this dish when I was younger. Do yourself a favor and give it a try as is before embarking on tweaks.

I like to have this soup with crusty bread or, better yet, a grilled cheese sandwich. Choose a sharp cheese and cook it until the bread is crisp and golden brown. After all, this is a glorified tomato soup to help you warm yourself during the deepest chills of winter. For that, you'll need soup that's glorified!

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 c. diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head (about 1 lb.) cabbage, chopped
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cans diced roasted tomatoes
  • 6 c. beef or chicken broth
  • 1-2 c. cooked rice (leftover rice is great)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper

Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage in a stockpot. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a separate dish. Leave some of the rendered fat, about 1-2 tablespoons, in the pot and add the onions. Sauté until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the cabbage, and cook for a few minutes until it softens.

Add the remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Bring to a boil; let simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until everything is heated through.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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