Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cabbage Soup

Why is cabbage so simple yet incredibly versatile and delicious??

I can't really answer this question. I think it has something to do with the combination of crunchy texture and bit of sweetness. It's what makes raw cabbage amazing when used in a coleslaw side dish or in a Thai-inspired chicken salad. But its also perfect when you cook it down, softening that crunch while intensifying its natural sweetness.

And this soup really lets the cabbage flavors shine. It's reminiscent of borscht, yet more pure in flavor. But don't let that simpleness turn you off--the flavors will make your mouth and your soul happy.

Plus, this soup takes almost no prep work and low cooking time. So in about 45 minutes you'll go from a single head of cabbage to a giant pot of soup, perfect for these last weeks of winter that just won't let go.

Buen Provecho,

Cabbage Soup, from Simply Recipies

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon butter, optional
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel)
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 to 5 cups, packed, 1/4-inch wide sliced green cabbage (from about 1 small cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage)
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock)
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with your hands (or roughly chopped)
4 cups chicken stock
black pepper

  1. If using whole spices (coriander, fennel, cumin), grind them in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder until well ground.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a 4-quart, thick bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir in the ground spices. Cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced cabbage to the pot and stir to mix the cabbage with the onions. If you are using unsalted stock, sprinkle the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the canned whole tomatoes, with their juices, to the pot. Stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt. Add more salt to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.


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