Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

unstuffed cabbage soup

Recipe by
Sanity Chek
Annapolis, MD

A fun derivation of stuffed cabbage. Served as a soup. This recipe is written for the use of a pressure cooker to bring it to the table in the fasted amount of time possible. This can be made in a pressure cooker, a crockpot or simmered in a large pot on a burner as you would standardly prepare any other soup. Made in a pressure cooker, this meal can be fully cooked and ready to serve after 20 minutes in the pressure cooker. On the oven burner in 1.5 hours. In a crockpot, after a few hours or less depending if you set it for Hi or Low temperature.

yield 12 -16 depending on size of bowl for soup (excellent to freeze)
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 30 Min
method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For unstuffed cabbage soup

  • 2 md
    heads of green cabbage
  • 1 can
    (28oz) diced tomatos
  • 1 can
    (15oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 bag
    peeled baby carrots
  • 1/4 c
    catsup (aka ketchup)
  • 1 1/2 lg
  • 5 clove
    fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp
    dill, dried
  • 1 tsp
    sea salt
  • 1 tsp
    ground pepper
  • 1 md
  • 3 can
    water (use the large empty diced tomato can)
  • 3 slice
    soft white or potato bread
  • 2 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lg
  • 1 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 1 tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp
    sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp
    onion flakes, dehydrated
  • 1/4 c
  • 2 1/2 lb
    lean ground beef
  • olive oil, light for cooking
  • 1/2 box
    16oz box of bowtie pasta also known as farfelle pasta.
  • 1 dash
    salt for pasta water
  • 1 tsp
    olive oil, light for pasta water
  • 1 Tbsp
    sour cream per bowl being served
  • 1 dash

How To Make unstuffed cabbage soup

  • 1
    Wash and prepare cabbage heads by peeling off outer layer. Run under cold water and look for any bugs. Cut in half and remove the core at the bottom by cutting it out and disposing. Cut the halves in half again and slice 1/4 in slices of the cabbage. Cut those slices in half. Toss all into pressure cooker pot.
  • 2
    Coarsely chop up an onion and the garlic cloves. Saute both combined in a large frying pan on medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil so that the onions start to become translucent. No need to brown. Watch the garlic so it doesn't burn. Pour onions/garlic and olive oil from the frying pan directly into the pressure cooker when ready.
  • 3
    Add to the pressure cooker the diced tomotos (undrained), the tomato sauce and catsup. Use the large can from the diced tomatos and add 3 cans worth of water to the pressure cooker. Use your judgement because this will vary based on the size of the heads of cabbage. In the end, if you have too much liquid versus cabbage in your soup, you can add more noodles in step 14. 3/4 of a box or even the whole box. The goal is for this to be a soup, not a pasta dish, so keep that in mind.
  • 4
    Squeeze the lemon juice from a large lemon into a glass. Make sure to remove any seeds and pulp. Just juice. Add the juice to the pressure cooker.
  • 5
    Slice up 16 baby carrots and add to pressure cooker. No more. Use the rest for snacking.
  • 6
    Add the dill, salt and pepper to the crock pot. Mix all the ingredients in the pot so they are combined well. Make sure the there is enough liquid in the pot to be at the same level as the rest of the ingredients. If you need to add more, do so.
  • 7
    Seal the pressure cooker and close the pressure valve. Hit button for Soups&Stews or comparable setting so that it cooks for about 10 minutes. My pressure cooker warms up for about 5 minutes before it cooks for 10 minutes.
  • 8
    While the cabbage mixture is cooking, Make the meatballs. Soak 3 pieces of bread with crusts removed and ripped into small pieces in 1/4 cup milk. Soak for a couple minutes.
  • 9
    In a large mixing bowl, add hamburger meat, and all the ingredients for the meatballs. Use your hands and start mixing together. Make sure you don't see pieces of the bread, but that it is worked into the meat. Roll about 45-50 1-inch meatballs.
  • 10
    Add a tablespoon of olive oil back to that large frying pan and on med-high heat, carefully brown those meatballs. Drain them on plate with paper towels as they become ready. Your goal here is to brown them so they will add a caramelized meaty flavor to the soup and look yummier after they have joined the rest of the ingredients in the soup. You don't want grey-looking meatballs floating in your soup! You will most likely only be able to cook 1/3 of the meatballs at a time. While they are cooking turn them so that they continue to keep the shape of a ball versus miniature hamburger patties and so all sides of the meatball are browning. Cookng these on med-high speeds up this process. I recommend wiping the frying pan out with a paper town inbetween batches of meatballs and staring with a new tbsp of olive oil. If you prefer to bake you meatballs in the oven, do so alternatively to your liking! Make sure to drain them on paper towels before adding to soup. If you prefer to use store bought meatballs, you can do so, but you need to add the worchestershire sauce directly to the soup then. This saves a step if you are in a hurry! if you buy frozen meatballs, try to get those without Italian seasoning in them. i found that you can get them at Trader Joes for a good price.
  • 11
    The timer for the pressure cooker should have gone off while you were completing the sauting of the meatballs. Open the lid after releasing the pressure. The cabbage should be much lower in the pot now that it was cooked down. Stir the soup a couple of stirs.
  • 12
    Take the plate with all your meatballs you've prepared and slide them all into the pressure cooker. Carefully mix them into the soup so they are submerged.
  • 13
    Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and hit the button for Soup&Stews to cook for another 5 minutes under pressure. Make sure the pressure valve is reclosed for this second round of cooking.
  • 14
    While the soup is cooking again, bring a pot of water to boil to cook the bowtie pasta. Add a pinch of salt to the water and a splash of olive oil to keep the pasta from overboiling. You want 1/2 of a 16 ounce box of bowtie pasta. Boil until just soft, al-dente. You don't want them overcooked and mushy. Rinse and drain.
  • 15
    When the timer goes off on the pressure cooker release the steam and open the lid immediately. Fold in the pasta noodles. Let the soup remain uncovered in the pot on the Warm setting for a bit before serving.
  • 16
    Use a ladle and serve soup into a bowl. Add a large dollop (an overflowing tablespoon's worth) of sour cream into the middle of the soup and then sprinkle with some dill. Serve immediately.