Food & dining

Sunday supper

Stuffed cabbage warms you up, followed by cabbage soup

Lisa Zwirn's recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls with beef and rice (Karoline Boehm Goodnick)

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Lisa Zwirn's recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls with beef and rice.

Stuffed cabbage on a cold night hits the spot. It’s warming and homey in an old-fashioned, grandmotherly way. In this traditional version of leaves wrapped around ground beef, you have to soften the whole head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water until you can peel off layers. Then enclose within the leaves a mixture of beef and rice and bake covered with tomato sauce. It’s a poor man’s feast, a specialty of the Eastern European kitchen, where the dish was once made with meat scraps. Be careful not to roll the packages too tightly because the uncooked rice will expand.

The second meal of cabbage soup is just as hearty and comforting. A base of chicken stock and tomatoes is simmered with chunks of cabbage, chopped leftover rolls and their sauce, and carrots. Add a squeeze of lemon at the end of simmering to brighten the pot. Come in on a freezing night, and ladle the soup into big bowls . If it’s nourishing warmth you’re looking for, this should do the trick.

Shopping list


(Stuffed cabbage, cabbage soup)

1¾ pounds lean ground beef

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2 eggs

1 head (3 to 3½ pounds)
green cabbage

2 medium onions


2 medium carrots

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 lemon

Salt and pepper

teaspoon crushed
red pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes

cup uncooked long-grain

white rice

8 cups chicken stock

Lisa Zwirn can be reached at
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