Friday, February 24, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage (Galumpki) Soup

My grandmom on my dad's side was known for making wonderful, authentic Polish dinners. Whenever we ate at her house (which was often!), we knew we were in for some good eats! My favorite thing that she made was galumpki, or stuffed cabbage. Even as a kid I could eat a few of them at a time. My dad made them for Easter a few years ago - click here for the recipe.

When I got my recipe for the most recent Taste of Home Cooking recipe swap focused on soup, I was super excited to see that it was for Stuffed Cabbage Soup. This recipe was submitted by the author of the blog I Was Born to Cook.

I made a few small changes to the recipe and the quantities, and will make one more change the next time I make it. I added onions, used more pepper, less cayenne, and used beef stock and water instead of just water. I also didn't take the author's suggestion to serve with cheese on top as you would never find cheese on galumpki and I wanted to keep this as close to authentic as possible.

The next time I make this soup I will cook 2 slices of bacon in the pot before starting my meat. My grandmother always started her galumpki with bacon, and even cooked her cabbage rolls on top of the bacon - it added such great flavor to her rolls.

When my dad walked into my kitchen and saw the soup, he said that it looked like galumpki thrown in the pot and falling apart, which is pretty much what it is, just without all of the work. When we were eating it we were saying the same thing - it tasted JUST like galumpki. We loved it! I wish I had some rye bread - this soup would be perfect with some fresh buttered rye bread to sop up the liquid. Next time!

My adaptation of the recipe is below.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper (go heavy on the pepper)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 20 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 2.5 c water
  • 1/2 c white rice


  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot
  • Add meat and cook, breaking it up as you stir it.
  • Add garlic and onions, continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink
  • Add salt, pepper, cayenne, basil, worcestershire; stir.
  • Add cabbage and tomatoes; stir.
  • Add stock, water, and rice; stir. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook 30-45 minutes. I found that after 45 minutes my cabbage could have used a little more time to cook down, so I will cook it longer before serving next time.
  • Serve with rye bread.

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  1. Glad you liked it, or at least your version of it :) I wasn't going for authenticity with my recipe, as you noticed, but we still loved it. Looks delicious!

  2. Sounds great! I love that it brought back memories for you and that your dad was a big fan. :)

    Thanks for being part of the recipe swap!

  3. I remember being about 5 and sitting in my grandfathers kitchen while my mom and aunt made this. I had completely forgotten all about it. I can't wait to try it out. :)

  4. This looks so tasty! I am just now beginning to appreciate cabbage and now I can't get enough of it.

  5. Looks delicious! I'll try this one :)

    Keep Produce Fresh Longer, The Environmentally Friendly Way

  6. I was excited to see I am not the only one who calls stuffed cabbage
    Galumpki!! I am a native of New Jersey and galumpki is the only word I knew for stuffed cabbage. Yeah for the Polish heritage. I now live in Ohio and own a B&B.