Spicy Cabbage Roll Soup

If you love the flavor and cabbage rolls but don't have the time for all the stuffing and rolling, this soup is for you! This lightly spicy unstuffed cabbage soup is hearty, filling and the perfect choice for an easy dinner on these cool Fall evenings.

If you're not a fan of spicy flavors, use plain tomato juice instead of the V-8 and add another can of diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel.

2 t. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 -  1 1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 t. minced garlic
4 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
2 carrots peeled, quartered and sliced
3 cups beef broth
3 - 4 cups of V-8 (mild or spicy, your choice)
16 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes (your choice of flavor)
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 bay leaf
2 T. chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large pot (mine was 5 1/2 quarts) over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until beef is browned, 5 - 7 minutes.  Drain the fat from the meat.

Add the onion and garlic cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the cabbage, carrots, beef broth, undrained diced tomatoes, Rotels, rice, and bay leaf to the pot. 

Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaf and discard. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

If the soup is too thick for your liking, add additional tomato juice or V-8.  Serve with lots of crusty bread.

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