Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup

 This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

Around this time two years ago I shared a recipe for Russian cabbage roll soup. I LOVED that recipe, but since meat isn’t really my thing anymore I haven’t been able to make it.

I decided that it was about time to remedy that problem by coming up with a meatless version of one of my favorite soups!

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

There were a few problems I had to consider when I was developing this vegetarian cabbage roll soup recipe.

First, the issue of umami. Sourness, bitterness, spiciness, and saltiness are easy to manage in any kind of diet. Umami, the “savory” flavor, just isn’t.

There are a few vegetarian sources of umami, namely seaweed, fermented products (like miso), and mushrooms.

I decided to replace the ground  beef in my original recipe with ground mushrooms.

Okay, maybe they’re not exactly *ground*, but they are minced into a near-paste status in my mini food processor.

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

There was one other element that I felt was missing from vegetarian soups. For me, it’s the way that a good broth coats your mouth and leaves a glossy flavor on your lips.

Usually that comes from the gelatin in meat, but I’ve used a seaweed derivative (agar agar) to achieve a very similar effect.

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

Since it’s a cabbage roll style soup, it’s also filled with rice, tomatoes, and… cabbage.

Coupled with the silky broth and the savory mushrooms, this is a soup that will stick to your ribs and quickly fill you up.

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

Even just a cup of this soup served with a piece of bread is enough to fill my belly, so I saved the rest in freezer jars.

One note about using the agar agar powder: When the soup cools to room temperature or lower, it will thicken quite a bit to an almost jello-like substance. If you’ve ever made a really good meat stock, you’ll have seen this phenomenon before. Once you heat it up it will melt back into delicious broth!

Here’s the Recipe!

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons agar-agar powder (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
  • 4 cups chopped green cabbage, hearts removed (about half a head of cabbage)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided

Instructions

  1. Place the agar-agar in a medium saucepan along with 3 cups of water until hydrated (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, place the garlic and mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced.*
  2. Once the agar has hydrated and "bloomed", set the saucepan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to a full boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven (or other lidded pot) over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots; saute for 4 to 5 minutes; until they begin to soften. Push the onions and carrots to one side of the pot and add the mushroom-garlic mixture to the pan. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 1 to 2 minutes; until browned. Mix the mushroom mixture into the carrots and onions. Add the cabbage, broth, tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper, paprika, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir in the warm agar-agar mixture.
  4. Allow the pot to reach a boil over medium heat. Once it has reached a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.
  5. Stir in the honey, vinegar, and half of the parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with remaining parsley leaves.

Notes

*You may need to work in batches if you are using a small (mini) food processor.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 175Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1540mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 6gSugar 13gProtein 5g

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

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This vegetarian take on cabbage roll soup will stick to your ribs and warm you right up!

 

March 6, 2017 | Last Updated on October 12, 2020 by Linda

3 thoughts on “Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup”

  1. Hi- if you choose not to use the agar-agar powder would you need to add extra liquid (i.e. 3 cups of water that was used to bloom the powder) ??

    Reply
    • Hi Jill,

      Yes, you would still need some water. I suggest you start with 1 1/2 cups and add up to another 1 1/2 cups as needed for the right consistency for you.

      – Linda

      Reply
  2. Being a vegetarian always admire vegetarian diet in my life style. This soup will give an add on to it and make sure that I will remain healthy, fit. Looks so yummy and delicious can work with bread.

    Reply

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