I love Armenian dolma. It was one of my favorite things to eat when I was living there and my host family taught me how to make it, both with grape leaves and with cabbage leaves.
It snowed yesterday in Atlanta, and I was wearing my lazy pants. I sincerely wanted dolma, though, and I had everything in my refrigerator to make some except initiative...I don't know why I never keep my initiative in the fridge. I would always find it there if I did! Anyway!!
RECIPE Dolma Soup
1 Lb Ground Meat (I used pork but beef is best)
1 Medium Sized Head of Cabbage, Sliced Thinly
3-4 Tbsp of Olive or Sunflower Oil
1 Large Onion, Diced
3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
3 Tbsp Fresh Basil
½ Tsp Dried Basil
2 Tbsp Fresh Dill
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro
3 Tsp Hot Paprika (but if you have Aleppo pepper...even better! I'd go with 2 Tsp of that, though)
¼ Cup Bell Pepper, Diced (Green or Red is Fine)
1 Tsp of Lemon Juice (Or to taste)
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 28-Oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 6-Oz Can of Tomato Paste
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 Cup Pre-Cooked White Rice
1 Bay Leaf
3-4 Cups of Beef or Chicken Stock
1 Small Banana Pepper (optional)
In a deep pot, heat oil on medium. Sautée onions & bell peppers until they are tender.
Add ground meat, cooking until it is no longer pink.
Add garlic, all herbs & spices & cook for five minutes.
Add sliced cabbage & cook until it is wilted.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, banana pepper, cooked rice & 3 cups of stock. Turn down the heat to medium low, mix & simmer until the soup is reduced. If it is too thick, add the remaining 1 cup of broth.
Taste the soup to see if you need more salt & pepper.
Add lemon juice & butter.
Serve hot with fresh herbs, tangy yogurt & bread.
This is an adaptable recipe. You can use leaner meat if you would like. I used lean pork in this recipe because that is what I had in the fridge.