Author Notes: I have never made stuffed cabbage rolls in my life. For years and years I have drooled over pictures of them, but the long process to stuff the cabbage leaves and braise for several hours always intimidated me. So I did the next best thing. I turned them inside out and made soup instead! While researching what ingredients go into a stuffed cabbage roll dish, I discovered that every Eastern European country has their own version of this dish. Ukranians typically make theirs with pork, sauerkraut and onions, while the Romanians add a generous amount of fresh dill to their sauce. Polish cuisine mixes ground beef or pork with rice, which is the common Americanized version. Hungarians add paprika to theirs, which I did too. Most of the sauces are tomato-based, except for in Sweden where they typically serve it with Lingonberry jam.
Trying to decide what to put in the soup took me several hours of scouring recipes (in which I could have been actually making the traditional dish!), and finally just had to start making it by the seat of my pants otherwise we’d never eat. I wrote a list of most common ingredients, then started adding them one by one, tossing in a bit of this and a pinch of that. I kept a notepad nearby so I could document what actually ended up in the soup, and how much. Another thing I did was try to healthy it up a bit by using ground turkey and brown rice, and used some homemade no-sodium turkey broth. - anotherfoodieblogger
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or salt, to taste
- 5 to 6 cups chicken, turkey, or beef broth, homemade or low sodium
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy!)
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup brown or white rice, uncooked
- 2 cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 8-ounce can no-salt tomato sauce
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 bag of shredded cabbage (I used the mixed cole slaw with carrots)
- Sour cream for garnish (optional)
- In a large soup pot, brown the ground turkey and chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat until turkey is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic and cook a minute or two more. Drain the grease, if any.
- Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and add the Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste.
- Add the broth and stir in all the rest of the ingredients except the cabbage or cole slaw and garnishes. Bring up to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is cooked through. For brown rice, that took about an hour. White rice would probably only take 20 minutes.
- Once rice is tender, add the bag of shredded cabbage, bring back up to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes more.
- Remove the bay leaves, and ladle into bowls, and garnish with parsley or sour cream.