This soup is the happy result of a search through the refrigerator and pantry for a satisfying and filling meal. It is a warming, comforting choice during the cooler months. —Donna
Test Kitchen Notes
Loved this soup. Disclaimer: I have a real soft spot for cabbage soup, and this one did not disappoint. The flavor in this simple recipe was bang-on. It's not very complicated, so of course comes down to using good quality, fresh ingredients. But for an easy, weeknight soup that came together within an hour it has a ton of great flavor. I liked that the emulsifier in the meatballs was cream and not egg—it left the meatballs a little plainer, which was all the better foil to the broth and vegetables. I have a feeling this will be even better for lunch tomorrow after it sits all night. —Omeletta
large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
large carrot, diced
small celery stalks, diced
Kosher salt, as needed
cloves garlic, minced, divided
low-sodium chicken or turkey broth (raise up to 6 cups if too thick)
small green cabbage, thick core removed and sliced into narrow strips
small bay leaf
dried thyme leaves
freshly ground pepper
ground, lean beef sirloin or ground veal
fresh, soft bread crumbs
cream, up to 4 tablespoons if it feels dry
Heat the oil and butter in a 4-quart soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery with a large pinch of salt, and stir. Cook until the vegetables have softened and browned just a little at the edges. Add about 2/3 of the minced garlic (reserve the remainder for the meatballs). Cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant. Add 5 cups of stock and raise the heat to bring the liquid to a brisk simmer. Drop the sliced cabbage into the pot with the bay leaf and thyme. Lower the heat and simmer the soup, with the pot lid ajar, until the vegetables are just tender.
While the soup simmers, make the meatball mixture: In a medium bowl gently combine the ground meat, remaining 1/3 of garlic, allspice, dillweed, a good pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper, the breadcrumbs, and 3 tablespoons of cream. Mix together thoroughly and add another tablespoon of cream if the mixture seems dry. Scoop the meat into meatballs with a small dessert spoon and roll them in your moistened hands. Place on a dinner plate as you finish each one; you should have about 18 small meatballs.
Check the soup pot and add the remaining cup of broth if you think the soup is too thick. Keep the soup at a gentle simmer as you add the meatballs to the pot. Let the meatballs cook in the soup for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir the pot gently and do not boil the mixture or the meatballs will fall apart. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and rye bread croutons.