Warming Beef and Cabbage Soup

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We’re down to the last of our yearly grass-fed beef. All the ground beef is gone — long gone — so I’m finding ways to cook the odds and ends in the freezer: stew meat, tri-tip, some gorgeous grass-fed steaks, and various roasts. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and I would agree. I’ve had a fun time learning and getting better at cooking grass-fed meat.

Looking for resources on grass-fed meat cooking? It doesn’t behave the same as feed-lot meat. My favorite resources are: the Grass-Fed Cooking blog by Shannon Hayes or her book Grass-Fed Gourmet. And in Fundamentals II eCourse, I share everything I know — including all my favorite recipes — in the lesson on Pastured Meats.

Last night, I made a warming beef and cabbage soup from beef stew meat. Mmmm… the soup got rave reviews from all five of us. We can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch. A keeper for sure!

Warming Beef and Cabbage Soup

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 to 3 pounds grass-fed beef stew meat (or lamb, buffalo, goat or wild game)
  • 8 cups stock or water, plus additional as needed
  • bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 ounces wild mushrooms or organic crimini mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cabbage, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus additional as needed
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice* (see instructions for soaking and cooking here)

*If you want to cook the rice along with the soup instead of separately, add 2 cup of soaked rice grain to the pot where you see the * in the recipe below.

Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large stockpot. Add the stew meat and brown thoroughly on all sides. Add the stock or water and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer several hours, covered, until meat is tender. Replenish water as needed to keep it to the same level. *If using pre-soaked rice grain, add it when beef is tender. Let rice simmer and cook with the meat for another half hour, or until tender, before proceeding with the recipe.

Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a cast-iron skillet. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add to stock pot. Add cabbage to soup. Simmer until cabbage is tender, but still has crunch. Add sea salt, pepper and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over warm, cooked brown rice (unless rice is cooked in the soup according to alternate instructions above).

What are your favorite ways to prepare grass-fed meats? What do you do when you’re down to the odds and ends of a bulk pastured meat purchase?

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Jamie says

    Hello, Wardee! Well, we were on the same wavelength last night–you know, that parallel universe thing and all that. We had the exact same thing for dinner last night. Except, bratwurst diced in chunks instead of beef, seven chunkily diced potatoes, the cabbage, the rice,some sort of stock to cover everything, and then cider vinegar, mustard, some sugar, thyme, marjoram, pepper, salt, and the vinegar bottle at the table. Oh yes. Let’s not forget the bacon fat used to get the whole shebang started by frying up the diced onions and minced garlic.

    We too are awaiting lunch leftovers!

  2. Nichole Fisher Patrick via Facebook says

    I make beef and cabbage soup all the time. We are on GAPS and it is hard to find things that are yummy and allowed, but we love this.

  3. Tammy says

    We ran out of hamburger so I had to come up with ideas–I made chili with diced steak, stews, casseroles with diced meat, fajitas, and roasts galore. My hubby went online and found a meat grinder. It opened a world full of possibilities and I never had to buy any conventional stuff or grassfed at higher prices. Of course, I picked up almost 400 pounds of grassfed yesterday so it’ll be awhile before I get to the bottom of the freezer again…

  4. Adrienne says

    I love this kind of soup and I am also trying my best to get the right taste which my family and kids would love…

  5. says

    Wardee, I just made this for us with lamb (2 pounds) and it is wonderful! I added less salt and pepper, but other than that, I think I did it the same. Thank you for this great recipe!

  6. Sandra says

    My mother has been very conscious with her health yet is tired with the same vegetable recipes. I think she will find this satisfying. I like the way it is easy to make as well. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Melissa says

    This gets a BIG thumbs up from us! I dumped 2 cups of sprouted rice in the broth, in a hurry to get out the door to a haircut, and ALL 6 cups of broth got soaked up! oops. I scooped out about 4 cups of rice and put in the freezer, added more broth, a little water and walaa! Perfect dinner with the added bonus of 2 meals worth of rice cooked in bone broth. A mistake made into nutrient dense rice for future meals. 😉

  8. Dona says

    This sounds and looks delicious!!! My question is, would round steak (fresh yet frozen and not pounded for tenderizing) work for this soup. I have some that the butcher didn’t make into cube steak. It is really hard to make round steak into anything that you don’t have to pound it first. Any suggestions would be great!!! :)

  9. Trina says

    This was so good that my husband liked it and he really, really dislikes cabbage. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Rhonda says

    I love this soup, but I was wondering about cooking the cabbage with the rest of the soup. Ideally, shouldn’t it be cooked separately then drained (like broccoli or kale) to get rid of the anti nutrients? or are they neutralized somehow in the soup? I’m hoping so, I’d hate to add a step to such a simple recipe 😉 I still love the soup!, just wondering what would be ideal from a Nourishing Traditions perspective.

  11. Randall Schmidt says

    Great recipe! I just made it for the first time and polished off two big bowls of it. I’ll be making this again. And again and again and again… All I need to buy is beef and cabbage, everything else I always have on hand.

    I am on the SCD diet so I eat this without rice.
    I also put in double the pepper (I do this to every recipe so I’m not suggesting you do the same, I just like pepper)
    Double the garlic
    No mushrooms
    And a family favorite trick: chicken stock instead of beef stock, we all prefer it.

    I simmered the beef for about 3 hours and after the cabbage and onions went in I simmered it all for a further 30 minutes. Both the cabbage and beef had great texture afterwards.

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