Monday, December 5, 2005

Cabbage soup

I was seized by the urge to make soup yesterday. Not to open a can or a packet, but to make soup, cabbage soup. My wife Elaine, who makes wonderful soups, assured me that it would be easy to do. She was right.

My recipe is a "veganed" (I just made up the word) version of Julia Child's recipe for soupe aux choux, a soup which is indeed, as JC calls it, garbure. I left out the salt pork -- ditto the lard rance (a very special "slightly rancid salt pork"), bacon, ham, and confit d'oie (preserved goose), any of which could've taken its place. I added the tomatoes and a vegetable-broth base, and changed the seasoning a bit.

To make this cabbage soup, you will need

some olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 quarts water
1 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
4 red potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 28-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2 large carrots, cut into discs
1 cabbage, about 2 lbs., chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
10 peppercorns, smashed
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, brown the onions in olive oil.

2. Add all the other ingredients, beginning with the water and potatoes. From there on, the order is pretty arbitrary. (It's just soup.)

3. Cover the pot and let everything come to a boil. Then cook on low-to-medium heat for 90 minutes or so. The timing is pretty flexible. (It's just soup.)

4. Stir and taste every so often, and add some salt and pepper if you like. (I like my soup with lots of pepper.)

5. Serve with the best bread you can muster.

It saddens me to think that many people in the United States of Generica have never tasted homemade soup, the ultimate comfort food. The preparation is simple, but you can wow your loved ones (and yourself) by making a homemade soup.

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

Just what I was looking for in a cabbage recipe.
I love Julia's recipes, but sometimes prefer one without preserved goose;) I used chicken stock, and I used fresh tarragon instead of the marjoram. Also I left out the tomatoes. When serving I am going to add a dollop of whipped butter, Julia style;) Smells delicious and tastes good, too!

Michael Leddy said...

I'm glad you found this recipe helpful, Anon. I'll have to try tarragon — it's one of my wife's favorite herbs.