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Smothered Cabbage and Arborio Rice Soup

Smothered Cabbage and Arborio Rice Soup
Step #1

Serves 4-6 people

Smothered Cabbage


2 pounds green, red, or Savoy cabbage

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic


Black pepper, freshly ground 

1 tablespoon wine vinegar, white or red

  1. Detach and discard first few outer cabbage leaves. Shred the remaining cabbage head using a food processor or cutting by hand very finely.

  2. Put onion and olive oil into a large sauté pan. Turn heat to medium. Cook and stir onion until a deep gold. Add garlic and cook until a very pale gold.

  3. Add shredded cabbage. Turn the cabbage over 2 or 3 times coating it well, and cook it until wilted.

  4. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar. Turn the cabbage over once completely, lower the heat to minimum, and cover pan.

  5. Cook 1 1/2 hours, or until is very tender, stirring occasionally. If water evaporates, add a tablespoon of water as needed. When done, taste and correct for salt and pepper. Let rest a few minutes.
    Note: The smothered cabbage can be prepared 2 or 3 days ahead of the soup, or served as a side dish from here. It also freezes well.

Step #2

Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup


The Smothered Cabbage, from above

3 cups homemade broth

2/3 cup rice, preferably Italian Arborio rice

2 tablespoons butter or oil


Black pepper, freshly ground 

  1. Put cabbage and broth into a soup pot. Turn heat to medium.

  2. Bring broth to a boil, and then add rice. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the soup bubbles at a slow, but steady boil, stirring from time to time until rice is tender, but firm to the bite. If the soup becomes too thick, add a ladleful of broth. While the soup is rather dense, there should still be some liquid.



Have leftover veggies?  Add chopped stalk of celery, frozen or fresh spinach, chopped zucchini.

Need Allium Free: Substitute 1 bulb of fennel for the onion

Like it Cheesy: Original recipe calls for Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup, Venetian Style. Essentials of Italian Cooking. 

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