Back to the food! I have been in such a contemplative mood lately that I’ve been wanting to write more about what’s going on in my head and less about what’s happening in the kitchen. It’s the season for that though, I suppose. We had such a fun Christmas season this year, and we’re finally taking everything down today since Epiphany is over. We really celebrated well: lots of fun with family and friends, lots of celebratory food and drink, and lots of late nights. This week has been a rough transition back to reality. Some clean meals were in order too to reset our bodies from the decadence of the previous few weeks. I made a huge batch of this hearty cabbage soup for just that purpose, and it’s been a big hit.
I’ve raved about the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks in the past, but they just came out with a vegetarian version (finally) that I checked out at the library a few weeks ago. I’ve been cooking from it lots and finding tons of winners. I have a feeling this one will be purchased soon.
Also, can I please encourage you to eat more cabbage? It’s such a humble, but versatile vegetable. I like to think of it as my favorite veggie for just that reason. For this recipe, I used up the last bits of some cabbage I had bought from one of the last farmer’s markets of the season. It stores well, so it was only looking a little bit sad. It’s a great vegetable to have on hand during the fall and winter because it stores so well and is so easy to add little bits of in soup, veggie bowls, or as a substitute for rice or noodles.
- 3-4 tbsp butter or fat of your choice
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp caraway seeds*
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less or more depending on your desired spicy-ness)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 cups stock
- 1 medium-sized green cabbage, cored and sliced
- 4-6 red potatoes (average size), cut into chunks
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour cream*
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until softened, typically 5 to 7 minutes or so.
- Stir in garlic, caraway seeds, thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in white wine to deglaze the pan and continue stirring to pick up any browned bits. The wine should mostly evaporate off. Stir in stock, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. then cover, reduce the temperature to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, typically about 30-40 minutes.
- Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish portions with a dollop of sour cream if desired, and serve.
*Completely optional, but surprisingly delicious. I was skeptical about the sour cream on top, but we all loved it in this soup.
Adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook