Debbie's Stuffed Cabbage Soup

My friend Debbie and I serve on a volunteer board together and had a meeting this past week for one of our committees. The meeting was at Debbie's house at 5 p.m. on a weeknight and as we walked in she had a pot of soup simmering on her stove. It smelled so good. She offered some, but I politely declined. We had work to do. I figured I'd indulge if one of the others did. But, one had dinner waiting on him at home and another was heading out to dinner after the meeting. Finally, the last one of the group, Jeff, arrived for the meeting. When she offered soup, he took her up on it. So, that was my green light. She offered me some again, so I told her I'd love to try half a bowl. :) She served it up with some soft fresh French bread.

 It was so good. I told her I needed the recipe and she sent it over right away. I'm definitely getting these ingredients on my shopping list to make a pot. It had a thick consistency and was heavy on tomato flavor with lots of meat. It was almost like chili, but with added veggies. She said she came up with this because making stuffed cabbage is a lot of work. I agree. By making it into a soup, you get great flavor, but it's a bit less labor intensive. Find Debbie's recipe below.

Cabbage Soup

1 small head cabbage                  
4 celery stalks (chopped)
1 lb.ground beef                           
1 onion  (chopped)                         
1 can Rotel sauce                           
1 small green pepper (diced)                  
2 cans tomato sauce (8oz)            
1 box of beef broth
2 cans tomato soup                        
3 garlic cloves (chopped)                          
Spices (salt,pepper,oregano)        
1 can diced tomatoes (large)

Saute onion, celery, green pepper and garlic in 1tsp. of olive oil until soft. Transfer to a large soup pot. Brown ground beef and transfer to soup pot. Add cans of tomato sauce, Rotel, tomato soup and beef broth. Mix really well, turn heat on low. Add your spices. You can add other spices too if you want to make it spicier. 

Sauté chopped cabbage in 2 tblsp of butter until soft and add to soup. Simmer for at least two hours (the longer the better) but keep stirring.You can add green beans, diced potatoes, sauerkraut or even rice to this soup. I did..just remember rice will soak up a lot of the juices so you have to add more broth or even a little water if you add rice and if you add rice I would add it at the end.

This is even better the second day!