Easy Russian Cabbage Soup with Ground Turkey

One of my favorite additions to soup is CABBAGE. 

Yep, the dense, thick leafy green usually found in salads or coleslaw or pickled to make sauerkraut and kimchi is also an amazing addition to soup (and a great way to sneak in some veggies).

When I came across this recipe, I felt inspired. For a long time I've been dumping shredded cabbage into my pots of vegetable soup, but usually that's just what it is, vegetable soup. Russian Cabbage Soup sounded much more exciting and certainly heartier with the addition of meat.

In general, I much prefer lighter, healthier soups compared to the opposite creamy and heavy soups when I am cooking from home. Not always, but most of the time. I naturally gravitate toward healthier foods when I cook (this definitely does NOT include dessert), and this extends to soup.

So rather than making this a beef soup, I added ground turkey.

You guys, it was PERFECT.

This soup was so good. So SOOO good! The ground turkey added just enough flavor and meat to the pot to satisfy even the most demanding of carnivores and the cabbage added a slightly sour hint to the broth which, at least for me, left my tastebuds wanting more and more and more.

Like I said, perfect.

It's also loaded with fresh carrots, onion, tomato and rice and topped off with fresh parsley. Oh yea, and it takes less than an hour to cook up.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that Octavian is drawn to puddles like bees to flowers.

At this point I'm convinced that it's an involuntary reflex and he has no idea what he's doing. Otherwise I'll have to admit he has no self control and has a listening problem. I'm still in denial about the first part and the second part, wellll, that's DEFINITELY true.

But seriously, you guys, I can't take my child outside without having to change his clothes at least once, sometimes twice. When we get to the park, I stop him and explain that if he jumps in the puddles we'll have to go home because he'll be wet and get cold.

He says, "Ok, mama. no wata".

And then I let him go and he runs straight toward the first puddle he finds.

Meanwhile, I look around at all the other little kids and realize there is only one child stomping around in the wet cold water. Even after they've seen the fun he's having, they turn away and decide it's best to stay out of the splash zone the wild child has created.

After Octavian has had his 37 seconds of muddy water fun, he realizes it's cold and says, "Mama, wet. new pants?! new kalothes?".

And then he does it again.

Easy Russian Cabbage Soup with Ground Turkey

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings


Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 large carrots, chopped
6-8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 large head green cabbage, washed, quartered, cored and chopped
8 cups chicken broth or water (add more if desired)
1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1/2 cup brown rice medley (I used the kind from TJ's, but any rice will work great), rinsed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1 large teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley (for garnish)
Sour cream (optional)


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the ground turkey and brown evenly for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 

  2. Stir in the onions and carrots, mixing well. Cook for approximately 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and mix well. Cook for approximately 1 minute then add the cabbage and diced tomatoes and chicken broth or water. Stir well. Finally, stir the rice into the pot, along with the paprika, crushed red pepper, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and salt.

  3. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and then turn the heat down to low and place the lid on the pot. Simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and the vegetables are soft.

  4. Stir in the sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley and sour cream.


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