4mediumcarrotspeeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice
2mediumparsnipspeeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice
3clovesgarlicminced (about 1 tablespoon)
4cupslow sodium beef broth
1/2cupuncooked long-grain brown rice*(see recipe notes below)
1tablespoonpure maple syrup
1tablespoonWorcestershire sauce(check your label to ensure it's a gluten-free brand)
4springs fresh thymeor 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1teaspoondried oregano leaves
Pinchcrushed red pepper
5cupsgreen cabbagechopped (about half of a small head)
1tablespoonsherry vinegar or 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Heat a Dutch oven or similar large soup pot over medium-high. Add the beef, salt, and pepper. With a wooden spoon or sturdy plastic spoon or spatula, break apart the meat into pieces.
Once the meat is broken up, add the carrots, parsnips, and onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute, until very fragrant.
Add the beef broth, tomato sauce, rice, bay leaves, maple syrup, Worcestershire, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage.
Continue simmering until the cabbage and rice are tender, about 25 to 35 minutes more. Check and stir periodically.
Remove the pot from the heat. Fish out and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stir in the vinegar. Cover and let the soup rest for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and the soup to thicken a bit further, then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Enjoy hot.
*SUBSTITUTION TIP: To use white rice instead of brown: add the cabbage at the same time as the beef broth in Step 3. Let the entire pot simmer for 25 to 30 minutes only (vs. the 45 minutes total needed for brown rice; white rice cooks more quickly).
TO STORE: Refrigerate soup in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
TO FREEZE: Freeze leftover soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.