This soup has been dubbed by a taster as "miracle soup" as she wondered how it could be that it tasted exactly like stuffed cabbage-but in a soup! This is one of my favorite soups in the world and although I don't make it that often it always finds its way to my table at some point over Sukkot. I recently had guests for Shabbat that requested it and I was only happy to oblige. The soup has all the elements of stuffed cabbage- onions, cabbage and little mini meatballs studded with rice that are just adorably delicious. It is hearty and filling and takes care of your stuffed cabbage cravings (am I the only one who has them?) without having to spend lots of time we all don't have making the rolls. Why else is this soup amazing? You can make it in advance and it tastes even better than if you make it fresh- that for me makes this soup a keeper!
1 piece of flanken (Asado in Israel)- you can also use stew meat but flanken gives the best flavor
2 cans tomato paste (22x in Israel, in America use a few cans of tomato sauce and less water)
2 liters of water (or enough to fill an 8 quart pot)
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
For the meatballs:
1/2 kilo chopped meat (1 pound)
1/3 cup raw white rice
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 Tbl ketchup
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Fill your pot with water and flanken and bring to a boil. Cook for half an hour while skimming off the foam. Add the cans of tomato paste, brown sugar and lemon juice and mix well. Add the onion and cabbage and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 2 hours. About45 minutes before the soup is ready mix together the ingredients for the meatballs and roll into small balls. Place gently in the soup and let cook for about 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!