Work travel has kept me away from my hungry readers for the past few weeks, so I thought I’d start back up with the one recipe from my last Beef Sessions dinner that came to me directly from my mom’s kitchen – Beef & Pork cabbage roll soup.
The special part of this recipe is the simplicity of the seasonings that yield a delicate, but determined flavor, and the care in the packaging and presentation of the cabbage rolls that make me call me them Packets of Love!
Of course, I will admit that ALLL that love is a bit much for a weekday meal, so you can certainly still get all the same flavor in less time by just rolling little meatballs and adding cut up cabbage to the soup.
Another note, this recipe also works well with pork & shrimp for a slightly different soup flavor!
Follow along for light and satisfying meal.
- 1/4 lb ground beef
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 bunches green onion
- 1 head of cabbage (regular or napa)
- 1 inch piece of ginger.
- 2 carrots
- 1 container organic, low sodium chicken broth (or home made!)
1. Finely dice the white onion & 1 bunch of green onions. Slice the ginger. Slice the carrot into rounds.
You can also make fancy flowers by slicing 4 strips out of the length of the carrot, and then slicing across.
2. In a large bowl, combine, ground beef & pork, white onion, half the green onion, salt & pepper. Mix thoroughly together with your hands. Set aside.
3. Heat up a a pot 1/3 full with water with a dash of salt.
4. Cut the bottom off the cabbage head and start pulling the leaves off and rinsing. Using a knife, cut out the tough core vein of each leaf.
5. Cut the white ends off of the green onions. Any thicker onions, slice vertically down the middle.
6. Once the water is boiling, add the cabbage & green onions and boil for about 1-2 minutes.
7. Prepare an ice water bath. Once the cabbage is softened, drain in a colandar and immediately dunk the colander in the ice water.
8. Now, it’s time to put together the packets of love!!! (or if you want to simplify, just roll some 1 inch meatballs from the meat and slice the cabbage into squares). First, grab 2 pieces of green onion and lay in a cross.
9. Lay a piece of cabbage on top. Scoop 1 TB of the meat mixture into the center of the the cabbage and carefully fold up the edges around the meatball.
10. Tie the onion pieces around the packet like a present and double knot each one. This can prove difficult if you have big fingers, so using a chopstick or toothpick to help tie can help! Set the packets on a plate.
11. In a medium sized pot, heat up the chicken broth to boiling. Add in the cabbage/meat packets and carrot slices/flowers to the soup and reduce the heat to medium low. Let simmer about 5-8 minutes until the meat is cooked. Taste the broth to see if it needs some salt or sugar. I added 1 tsp of sugar to round out the flavors.
12. To serve, scoop about 2 love packets and a few carrots into a small bowl. Ladle in the broth and top with the reserved green onions. Serve with a smile!