Best Cabbage Roll Soup – Gluten Free

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this Cabbage Roll Soup recipe. I can honestly say this is the best cabbage roll soup. This soup’s insanely delicious flavour comes from lean ground beef, grated sweet potatoes, bell peppers, cabbage wedges, crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices. To make this cabbage soup extra satisfying, I added a handful of rice or quinoa.

 

cabbage roll soup, gluten free

 

This naturally gluten-free soup recipe is not the classic full-on tomato sauce cabbage roll soup. There is no added sugar, and there are extra veggies. The sweet potato that is grated into the soup adds natural sweetness and flavour. The bell peppers add a unique flavour that goes exceptionally well with the cabbage and tomatoes. And, by replacing the tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, the soup has just a hint of tomato. Let us be serious – this is not tomato soup!

As with many cabbage roll recipes, the one ingredient that is often added is rice. In this healthy soup recipe, you have a choice to add rice or superfood called quinoa. Both ingredients work exceptionally well in this cabbage roll soup recipe. If you are looking to keep this a low-carb soup, you can skip the rice or quinoa altogether.

 

green cabbage

 

the cabbage roll soup details,

To be clear, this soup is not about chopping the wedgies and throwing everything together to cook. This is the reason why I stand behind saying this is the Best Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe. 

To start, the beef has to be browned. To do this, make sure the oil is super hot before adding the meat. I always bring my ground beef to room temperature before cooking. This makes it breaking up the meat easier while it is browning. The browned beef is what sets the rich beefy flavour.

 

cabbage wedges

 

Once the beef is browned, add the spices, bell peppers, grated sweet potatoes and generously season with salt. I do not add salt until this point. If you add salt to the beef while it is browning, it will release moisture, and the meat will take longer to brown.

Now come the crushed tomatoes, water, apple cider vinegar and cabbage wedges. It is essential to place the wedges on top of the soup and not mix them into the soup. This way, they will hold their shape and will look beautiful for presentation.

 

cabbage roll soup, gluten free

 

If you are adding rice or the superfood quinoa, now is the time to do it. Sprinkle the rice or quinoa over the cabbage, and using a spoon, gently immerse into the soup—cover and cook for additional 10 minutes. Then, rest the soup for additional 15 minutes allowing the rice or quinoa to finish cooking.

I do not add the grains into the soup from the start because they become mushy and fill the soup with starch. The gluten-free grains should have a firm to bite texture, making them super tasty because they are cooked in the soup’s broth.

 

cabbage roll soup, gluten free

 

How to serve the healthy cabbage roll soup?

The soup has everything. Tender beef, veggies, perfect cabbage wedges, delicious broth and grains cooked to perfection. When serving the soup, carefully place a cabbage wedge or two in a bowl, add the meaty vegetable broth and sprinkle with fresh parsley. I often like to add a thick Greek yogurt or light sour cream. The creaminess adds extra richness and makes the soup extra delicious. 

 

cabbage roll soup, healthy

 

Cabbage roll soup is super hearty, so you don’t need to add anything to make it a complete meal. However, a robust, healthy soup always goes well with a slice of gluten-free French bread. Next time you crave Hungarian cabbage rolls, give this healthy soup a try. I promise you may never go back to making cabbage rolls. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. GF paprika
  • 2 GF bay leaves
  • 1 - 2 hot chilli peppers (optional)
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small green cabbage, cut into wedges (should have 8) if the cabbage is large, cut the cabbage into about 2-inch thick pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry rice or quinoa
  • Sea salt to taste, and if you are not using chilli peppers, add 1/2 tsp. GF ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings; sour cream, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, fresh parsley
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    Instructions

  • Using a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up the meat using a spatula until the meat is browned. About 5 minutes. Stir in onions and garlic and cook additional 3 minutes
  • Add paprika, bay leaves, hot chilli peppers (if using), bell peppers, sweet potatoes and generously season with salt. Mix well until combined
  • Add crushed tomatoes, water, apple cider vinegar, then place cabbage wedges on top of the soup, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the soup with rice/quinoa, cover and cook for additional 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and rest the soup for a minimum of 15 minutes. The rice/quinoa continue cooking to perfection while the soup is resting
  • To serve, sprinkle with fresh parsley and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt 
  • Note: This soup is even better the next day and will keep up to 7 days when refrigerated. 
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