Golumpki Dumpling Soup

Golumpki (cabbage rolls) are a pretty popular staple in my home. I’ve recently realized its about the only family food that Stephen and I have in common. As children we both ate pizza, hot dogs and other pretty standard foods but cabbage rolls are the one piece of soul food we have in common.  With him in Oklahoma and me in Maine as you can probably imagine, our favorite childhood foods are a bit different. Although I do love a classic golumpki this weekend is all about soup-er foods. Comforting, warm and cozy soups. I’ve been really wanting cabbage rolls lately and this idea popped into my brain sheerly because I’m lazy. As much as I love golumpki I really hate rolling them. Messing with the cabbage and all the meticulous rolling and folding…no thanks! Although we love stuffed peppers just the same, well peppers are like $3 a pound and I’m broke frugal. 

This is a recipe that is as easy as it is delicious. It is almost as great as the original. I have to say I kind of missed fighting with the cabbage on my fork ,but I think I can get past that. The work is not missed one bit! I combined spicy tomato soup with boiled cabbage and caraway as the soup base. For the meat dumplings I made a meat and rice ball using a combination of already cooked rice, ground bison meat and roasted garlic. This was so easy, it literally took me less than 15 minutes to assemble. I cooked the meatballs this morning, cooked the cabbage and assembled “to order”. Its recipes like these that I don’t mind being the short order chef. Made a week in advance or fresh, it only tastes better the longer it rests. Magnificently simple, miraculously comforting. 

Golumpki Dumpling Soup
I used bison meat this time, you can use beef, venison, veal or pork. Whatever you have on hand, whichever you prefer.
Soup & Cabbage
1/2 head of cabbage 
3-4 cups of water 
1 teaspoon caraway seeds 
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/2 recipe (2 1/2 pints) Spicy Tomato Soup, – or-
A can or two of plain crushed tomatoes with crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup cooked white rice
1 pound bison meat 
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
Place dumpling ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup measure the dumplings into 6 balls. You can divide the meat roughly, I like to use measuring cups to insure there’s no dry burnt dumplings. Roll each portion into a smooth ball. To remove air pockets from the balls you can toss them back and forth from one hand to another (as if you were tossing a baseball.) Place 1-2 cups of spicy tomato soup into the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. Place the meatballs into the sauce one by one. 
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, during the last 15-20 minutes cover the dumplings with additional spicy tomato soup.
To prepare the cabbage & soup-
Place water, salt and caraway seeds into a medium sized soup pot. Bring to a boil and add cabbage, boil 10-15 minutes  or until tender. Combine with 2 cups of spicy tomato soup. 
Once dumplings are cooked serve hot soup with dumplings. You can combine them together however I find that these tender dumplings are best kept separate so they do not crumble.