Piggie (Cabbage Roll) Soup from scratch
Christine and I recently went to a local festival to enjoy the opening musical act at said festival. The music was awesome and the weather was somewhat behaving with a stray sprinkle or shower here and there.
As it was around dinner time, and we were getting hungry I searched the 30 or so food vendors for something that would fit my low-carb lifestyle as well as something Christine would enjoy. I’m not saying that she’s picky or anything! I found a vendor selling cabbage rolls and bought two of them for us to share. Off I go back to the seating area with Styrofoam container and a plastic fork and knife.
Christine was thrilled that I found them, and we dug into the piggies. Let’s just say that they were disappointing, not a lot of flavor or texture, just blah. I said to her “I guess you’re going to have to make yours sooner rather than later (like winter later).” She laughed at me “In the middle of August? I don’t think so.”
My wife makes the best cabbage rolls I’ve ever had, and typically she’ll make a batch or two in November that we’ll freeze for a quick delicious meal when the Christmas busy season hits and I don’t have a lot of time to cook dinner.
Back on tangent… On the way home in the car it came to me, I can make piggie soup tomorrow for dinner. Christine agreed as she loves my homemade soups, especially the piggie soup. All is right in the world!
I came up with this recipe after Christine had piggie soup at a local restaurant and was smitten with it. Instead of running out to get it when the craving kicked in (if it was on the menu) I decided to make my own. I also make a stuffed pepper soup and I used that as a jumping off point.
The best soups are made with the freshest ingredients possible. I use 80/20 beef, cabbage, carrots, celery, and onion. Although in a pinch you can substitute the cabbage and carrot for the bagged variety of coleslaw mix.
- 3/4 pound of 80/20 ground beef
- 1 pound of chopped or grated cabbage (bag of cole slaw mix in a pinch)
- 1/2 med. onion small dice
- 1 rib of celery small dice
- 1 lg carrot grated
- 6 cups of water
- 16 oz can of tomato sauce
- Can of tomato soup
- 1 T flour
- 1 T beef base
- 1 T hot sauce
- 1/2 t celery salt
- 1/2 t old bay
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté and season the onions and celery in olive oil until translucent
- Add the ground beef, season, break up and sauté until thoroughly browned
- Add the beef base and hot sauce, stir until incorporated
- Add the flour and cook for a minute
- Add the water, tomato sauce, and tomato soup stirring until incorporated
- Add the cabbage and carrot
- Add the celery salt and old bay
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
- Simmer for at least an hour allowing all the flavors to come together. (Soup is much better the next day reheated)
- Top with chives, scallions, or parsley
- Grate Parmigiana Reggiano cheese after plated
What about the rice?
I know, most cabbage rolls have rice in the meat. This is true. But, as I stated at the top I do live a low carb lifestyle and the rice adds too many carbs for me.
If I remember correctly, one of the first times I made the stuffed pepper soup I added rice to the soup… raw. What a mistake that was, ruined the soup with the starch.
So, if you want to add rice, I would do it like you’re making fried rice. Use rice that has been cooked and cooled in the fridge. I would then add a couple of tablespoons to the individual bowls.
Thanks for checking out my recipe! Take a look around our store while you’re here, maybe you can find a soup mug. Even if you don’t buy anything the hits and views do help us a lot.