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German Cabbage and Rice Soup

Serves 4

This cabbage and rice soup is based on a traditional German recipe. It is quick, very easy to make, healthy and absolutely delicious. See the notes below for a few possible variations, including a vegetarian version. For an equally delicious dish, see the cabbage and orzo soup in the similar and related recipes links.

German Cabbage and Rice Soup Recipe Photo

Heat butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and onions. Cover; cook until cabbage is golden-brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. (Cabbage heads tend to have different amounts of moisture depending on several factors, including the time of year. You might need to add a little moisture or, conversely, you might have to remove the lid to get it to brown.). Add broth, water, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add rice. Continue to simmer, covered for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Taste for seasoning. Serve in individual soup bowls. Pass shredded cheese separately.

Notes: For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken broth with a low-sodium vegetable broth. You can substitute half of the butter with olive or canola oil. Since I seldom cook with white rice anymore, I use brown in this recipe. Check the box for cooking times. What I usually have on hand takes about 50 minutes to cook, so I add it with the broth and cook the soup for an additional 15 minutes. However, you can get a quick-cooking brown rice that takes about 20 minutes. Use a really good Swiss or Swiss-style cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmentaler or Jarlsberg. The more flavorful the cheese, the less you will need.