These definitely aren’t grandma’s cabbage rolls😊. Let’s face it…cabbage rolls aren’t exactly a weeknight-friendly meal. Tediously stuffing boiled cabbage leaves with an onion-rice-vegan meat mixture, rolling up each leaf and then tucking in the ends is not likely to happen Monday to Friday when I’m looking for simple yet wholesome meals for the family. Enter our Cabbage Roll Soup with Wild Rice. It captures all the flavour of a ‘formal’ cabbage roll dish without the fancy folding technique (lol) and can be ready in under 30 minutes. When you consider the health benefits of cabbage (read on!) you can’t go wrong with this sure-to-make-you-a-cabbage-lover soup 😆.
Since I hardly (if ever) boil or blanch vegetables I wanted to steam the cabbage to get the most health benefits from it (not to mention this also lessens the unpleasant odor cabbage gives off when it’s boiled). Speaking of health benefits I didn’t know that cabbage is actually richer in Vitamin C than oranges. I also didn’t realize that one of the most celebrated health benefits of cabbage is its powerful antioxidant properties (meaning it reduces free radicals in your body). Who doesn’t love a vegetable that tastes delicious and fights aging 😋. Although the red/purple variety of cabbage is more nutrient-rich than the ho-hum green variety I wanted to keep the spirit of traditional cabbage rolls in this recipe so I used green. Instead of using conventional white rice for the cabbage stuffing I opted for wild rice. Its chewy outer sheath and tender inner grain yields a delicate crunch that is surprisingly delightful in this soup. Wild rice is also naturally gluten-free making it a great choice for those with gluten intolerance.
While some cabbage roll recipes call for a tangy tomato sauce with a zip! I wanted the soup to be on the savory end of the spectrum. This soup base itself is a blend of vegetable broth, tomato sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes which gives it a rich tomato flavour while the addition of vegan Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar add a savoury dimension to the soup. When I first started experimenting with this recipe I was on the conservative side with the amount of cabbage I put in the soup (likely had something to do with trying to please a 7 and 9-year old, lol) so I decided to roast the other half of my cabbage leaves (rather than not use it at all). When roasted at a high temperature (with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano, thyme and salt) the cabbage turns golden brown (perhaps with a few burnt edges) and has a buttery-like texture and sweet flavour. When used as a garnish, the sweet and savoury roasted cabbage caps off the soup perfectly – and of course if you’re serving this to picky children you can reserve the roasted cabbage as the adult-friendly garnish 😉.
This Cabbage Roll Soup with Wild Rice is sure to become a family favourite this winter. If you’re looking for other soup recipe inspiration why not try our Lasagna Soup or our Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup.
Recipe Preparation (See Recipe Notes for more details)
1/Cook 1 cup dry wild rice as directed (2 cups cooked wild rice required)
2/Roughly tear the leaves off half of one medium-size cabbage head, cored (500-600g)
3/Roast half a head of raw cabbage head, leaves roughly torn; set aside (250-300g)
- 1 onion, quartered (65g)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled (15g) (I used Red Russian/Elephant garlic which is more potent)
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 30 g olive oil
- 340 g Yves Veggie Cuisine Ground Round (or similar)
- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (5g)
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Vegetable broth (1000g) (I used 1000g water + 1.5 Tbsp vegetable bouillon powder)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (130g)
- 1/2 can (28 fl oz) fire-roasted tomatoes (390g)
- 1/2 pound raw cabbage leaves (230g)
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (20g)
- 1 tsp dried oregano (<5g)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (<5g)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar (15g)
1/Add onion, garlic, fresh oregano, dried rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes in your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 8 sec/Speed 8. Using spatula, scrape down sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced mixture at the base of the bowl.
2/Add olive oil to the TM bowl. Sauté 3 mins/120C/Speed 1. Once again, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
3/Add ground round (or similar imitation ground beef), vegetable bouillon powder and salt to the TM Bowl.
Cook 8 mins/100C/Speed 1 (Reverse blade)
4/Add vegetable broth, tomato sauce, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, raw cabbage leaves, dried oregano, dried thyme and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
Cook 10 mins/100C/Speed 2 (Reverse blade)
5/Add brown sugar and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce to the TM bowl. Cook 1 min 30sec/100C/Speed 2 (Reverse blade). Your soup is now ready.
6/Remove Thermomix mixing bowl from the unit. Add 2 cups (reserved) cooked wild rice. Transfer to serving bowls. Garnish with roasted cabbage leaves and a pinch of dried oregano. Serve immediately.
1 cup dry wild rice will yield approx. 2 cups cooked wild rice
*How to roast cabbage:
1/Preheat oven to 400F
2/Place cabbage leaves (250-300g) from half of one medium-size cabbage head onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil (a scant amount will do!), dried rosemary, dried oregano and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt.
3/Roast cabbage leaves for 30 minutes (rotate every 10 minutes to ensure the leaves cook evenly). Cabbage is cooked when the edges start to curl up. Black edges here and there are fine, but you don’t want the leaves too charred. Keep a watchful eye the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance; however, it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. multi-function processor, immersion blender etc).