This Unstuffed cabbage roll soup makes for the perfect plant-based dinner that is ready in only 30 minutes!
Picture this: it’s dinner time January, you’re probably cold (definitely cold if you live in Canada), you’re hungry and you can’t really be bothered to make a meal that is going to take you a while. Enter the perfect recipe: unstuffed cabbage roll soup.
Not only is this soup super easy to whip up, it’s also tasty, filling, packing with nutrition and contains a bunch of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Need I say more?
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works
I’m going to be honest, I don’t usually love it when I’m super hungry and someone suggests having soup for a meal. Vegetables and broth to fill me up? No thank you! Not that soup isn’t delicious, but it’s usually not quite satiating enough.
However, that’s what I love about this soup recipe: it comes together to create a complete balanced meal. Protein? Check. Healthy fat? Check. Fibre? Check. Dinner served in a single bowl? Check!
Not to mention, this soup is reminiscent of those delicious flavours found in a traditional cabbage roll, except it’s completely plant-based and gluten free, meaning that everyone at the table can enjoy a serving.
Veggie Ground Beef – This ingredient is what gives the soup it’s hearty flavour and texture, minus having to use actual meat. I promise that any meat lover who tries this recipe will not be able to notice a difference!
Green Cabbage – I mean, what’s a recipe for unstuffed cabbage roll soup without cabbage? Not only is cabbage a nutritious cruciferous vegetable (hello, Vitamin K), it also holds up really well compared to other vegetables that often become mushy when cooked down in soups.
Brown Rice – If you know me, you know I love my carbs. The complex carbs in the brown rice, combined with the veggie ground beef, really gives this soup it’s staying power that is going to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.
Tomato Puree and Diced Tomatoes – Another staple ingredient of a classic cabbage roll, the tomato broth really ties all of the elements of this recipe together so that it truly tastes like a cabbage roll in soup form. Plus, tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which becomes much easier for the body to absorb when cooked. It’s a win-win.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Add olive oil to a soup pot on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
Step 2: Add veggie ground beef, cabbage, carrots, vegetable broth, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, brown rice, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 3: Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Step 4: Once rice is tender, remove from heat. Remove the bay leaves.
Step 5: Ladle into a bowl and serve!
Any of veggie ground will work, although I used the Lightlife brand because I love the way it tastes. However, feel free to experiment and let me know what your favourite meat replacement is in the comments below!
If you prefer a thicker soup, I suggest leaving the soup pot uncovered while simmering. For a lighter soup, cover for the first 10-15 minutes of simmering. I would also recommend having extra stock on hand that way you can thin it out (if necessary) when you are ready to serve. BTW, this soup makes for incredible leftovers.
Absolutely! If you want to swap the veggie ground beef for a ground meat, such as beef, chicken, or turkey, then go for it! However, be careful to ensure that you cook the meat all the way through before serving, as this is not a concern when using veggie ground beef.
Indeed it is! Thanks to the brown rice in this recipe, which is a naturally gluten free grain, this soup is 100% gluten free. If you are extra sensitive to gluten or you have celiac disease, make sure you’re buying rice that is 100% certified gluten free.
Go for it! I am always a fan of using what you have on hand or what is in season. I think that squash, sweet potato and celery would all be a delicious additions. However, I would not suggest omitting the cabbage in this recipe, as this will likely impact the result of the overall dish.
I personally think this soup would taste even more amazing garnished with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives. Feel free to experiment and add whatever toppings you like to make this recipe your own!
The great thing about most soup recipes is that they actually taste better overtime, as this allows for all the flavours to come together even more. Just remember that the brown rice will likely absorb a lot of liquid as this soup sits in the fridge, so make sure to keep some stock or water handy in case you want to thin it out!
More Recipes You May Like
If you liked this recipe for unstuffed cabbage roll soup, then you might also enjoy the other vegan soup recipes on the blog:
- Best Vegan Potato Soup
- Easy Sweet Potato Curry Soup
- Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Parsnips
- Creamy Tomato Soup
- Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
What is your favourite soup recipe for wintertime? Let me know in the comments below!
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Clove garlic minced
- 1 Onion diced
- 1 12 oz Package veggie ground beef
- 4 Cups green cabbage chopped
- 2 Whole carrots peeled and chopped
- 4 Cups vegetable broth
- 24 oz Tomato puree
- 1 14.5 oz Can diced tomatoes
- ½ Cup dry brown rice gluten free
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a soup pot on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the onion and garlic. Sautee until soft and fragrant
- Add veggie ground beef, cabbage, carrots, vegetable broth, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, brown rice, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes (rice will be tender).
- Once rice is tender, remove from heat. Remove the bay leaves.
- Ladle into a bowl and serve.
Updated on September 26th, 2022
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.