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Everyone loves cabbage rolls, but nobody likes the work it takes to make them properly.  Cabbage Roll Soup is all the flavour without the fuss!

A good friend and work colleague makes the best damn cabbage rolls I’ve ever eaten. The time and effort she puts into these cabbage rolls is quite impressive. Personally though, I think it’s her Ukrainian roots that give her the better advantage.

Rather than harass her to spend her weekend off preparing a large pan full of delicious, salty, tomato-y, meaty goodness, I have found that this cabbage roll soup recipe can suffice between the long droughts of her not preparing the real thing.

This soup can be easily prepared and assembled in 60 minutes. But I prefer to let the soup simmer for at least 90 minutes so that all of the ingredients come together as one great tasting unit.

I’m writing out the details for a vegetarian version, but you can easily switch out the vegetarian product for a meat product. Simply use one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork instead of the textured vegetable protein. Be sure to drain the fat well before adding the browned meat to the cooked veggie base.

My mom used to make cabbage rolls – not often, but often enough for me to remember the taste of them.  I thought they were delicious, but it wasn’t until I tasted Vera’s cabbage rolls did I come to realize just how delicious cabbage rolls could be!

I think she once told me that the recipe she uses is her mother’s recipe.  If that’s the case, it’s an authentic Ukrainian recipe that by far, beats any cabbage roll recipe I’ve ever had the opportunity to feast on.

I’m not Ukrainian, and Newfoundlander’s are not well known for dishes such as cabbage rolls, but Newfoundlander’s can make the best pot of soup you’ve ever tasted!  That’s why I fully stand behind this deconstructed cabbage roll in soup format.

You can make this soup as thick or as thin as you want it.  This recipe makes quite a large pot of soup, but if you want a thicker soup, add more instant rice.  Or, if a thinner, more broth-like soup is what you want, go ahead and half the amount of instant rice.

In my version of the soup you see pictured here, I used instant brown rice, just to make it a little healthier.  I know the brown rice will increase the amount of protein in the soup, which is needed, because my version is a vegetarian version.

If you’re using beef and/or pork in your recipe, you can certainly use white instant rice, or add the brown and make your soup even heartier!

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4.25 from 4 votes

Cabbage Roll Soup

Everyone loves cabbage rolls, but nobody likes the work it takes to make them properly.  Cabbage Roll Soup is all the flavour without the fuss!
Course Main Course
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 193kcal
Author Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 3 cups vegetarian beef crumbles
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 5 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups instant white rice


  • First, add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottom stock pot. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the vegetarian beef crumbles, chopped carrots, salt, and pepper. Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the bay leaves, cabbage, thyme, oregano, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir all ingredients well to combine. Saute for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable stock and uncooked instant rice. Stir well to combine. Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately.


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1334mg | Potassium: 726mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3985IU | Vitamin C: 27.9mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4.6mg

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This Post Has 13 Comments

    1. Hi Brenda, if you're serving the soup alone, I would say 6 people, but if you're serving it with a salad or a sandwich, or even crusty bread, you can get at least 8 or 9 servings.
    1. Thank you, Lea Ann! We love this cabbage roll soup - it's so much easier and less time consuming than preparing cabbage rolls. It's a good substitute to curb those cravings. Thanks for dropping by! :)
    1. I welcome all comments, Janet... and I most certainly welcome you to come back and let me know about your soup. :)
  1. Do you think lentils would make an appropriate substitute for the textured vegetarian crumbles? Many of the packakaged vegetarian crumbles are filled with ingredients I do not want to eat.
    1. Yes, Karen, it certainly would. The consistency would obviously be different, because TVP does have a tendency to absorb liquid, so keep that in mind.
  2. I would love to make this recipe. You mention ground round but it doesn’t say how much in your list of ingredients. Thank u.
    1. So sorry, Joann - ground round is another name for vegetarian beef crumbles. I have updated the recipe. Thank you.

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