Serves 8 or more.
2 tsp olive oil
1-1/4 lb extra-lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2-3 cups chopped cabbage
2 cups tomato juice or V-8 + 2 cups water
2 cups canned chopped tomato
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill weed
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup cooked long-grain white rice*
1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher salt (at least 1 tsp to start, then adjust to taste)
Fresh black pepper, to taste
In a 6- or 8-quart soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef, and sauté, breaking up the pieces, until the meat is browned.
Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are wilted and the onion is translucent. Pour in the tomato juice, water and chopped tomatoes. Add the dill and parsley. Stir in the rice.*
Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then taste. Adjust the sweet and sour balance to your preference, with more sugar and lemon juice, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve hot. Or, cool completely, and freeze in airtight containers.
*NOTE: You can use uncooked rice if you don't have leftover cooked rice. Increase the cooking time to 20 minutes after the rice is added. You might want to add more tomato juice or water if the soup becomes too thick as the rice cooks.