pisicutsa was thinking of coming over today to write with me for a couple of hours. I said we'd be happy to feed her cabbage soup for dinner. "I loathe cabbage soup!" she said, and we decided not to meet up today after all.
I'm not usually one to say "You just haven't met the right _____", but I do wonder whether she's had cabbage soup made with fresh organic Napa cabbage, which was so good that next time we get some from the farmshare we're planning on eating it raw or making coleslaw, and crumbled bacon and freshly grated Parmesan and fresh garlic from the farmer's market. We doubled this recipe, substituting half vegetable broth and half chicken broth for the stock, and using the bacon grease instead of olive oil. (We crisped the bacon in the bottom of the pot and then set it aside to crumble in later. Mmm, bacon.) The cabbage was just barely softened, still crunchy and tender and flavorful. It was magnificent. I had no idea cabbage soup could be so good.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock (see head notes)
1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)...
Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.
Makes about eight cups, or four servings.
Between the beans and the cabbage, sinboy and I are very glad to have separate bedrooms. Worth it, though. And if pisicutsa decides it sounds worth trying, we have five more servings in the fridge.
(crossposted to iron_chef_csa)