04 Jun Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup


Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup

4 June 2021

PREP. TIME: 10 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 3o mins   -   SERVES: 4 -6

The ingredients for this deliciously, warming, Winter soup, are so few - they need to be carefully chosen to maximise their potential to deliver on flavour and comfort.  Chiefly you need a Savoy cabbage and meat broth. For the sake of practicality, I have provided a link to a recipe for improving the flavour of store bought box-stock and more optimistically another for to how to make your own meat broth.  Best outcome would be though that you already have some well made meat broth nestled in your freezer.

Recipe Template

Both the broth and the cabbage can be prepared several days in advance in which case you only need then to assemble them together, cook the rice in this mixture and flavour with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a little butter, and some salt and pepper.

If you plan to make the dish all on one day you can prepare the cabbage while the broth is cooking.  Allow up to 3 hours to make the broth from scratch and to cook the cabbage.

Click here for the recipe for Smothered Cabbage.

 Click here for the recipe for Meat Broth.

Click here for how to improve the flavour of store bought box - stock

For a vegetarian version of this recipe click here for the recipe for Vegetable Broth.

ingredients for 4 -6 people

Smothered Cabbage

750 ml home made meat broth or improved box-stock

170 g Italian risotto rice such as Arborio

25 g butter 

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano - Reggiano cheese

Freshly ground black pepper


3  - 4 litre, heavy based soup pot

Wooden spoon

Digital Scales

Measuring spoons

Cheese grater


Step 1

Place the broth and the 'smothered cabbage' in a soup pot over moderate heat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

When the broth comes to the boil, add the rice.  Cook uncovered, adjusting the heat to keep the soup simmering at a slow but steady boil, stirring from time to time  until the rice is done.  It must be tender but firm to the bite.  This will take about 20 minutes.  If the soup becomes too thick while the rice is cooking, dilute it with a ladle-full of broth or water. Remember when you are finished, the soup should be rather dense, but to be eaten with a spoon rather than a fork.

Step 3

When the rice is done, before turning off the heat, swirl in the butter and the grated Parmesan cheese, stirring thoroughly.

Taste and correct for salt, adding a little pepper.

Step 4 - To Serve

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and allow to settle just a few minutes before serving.


Recipe by Marcella Hazen, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, p.100

Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey

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