Cabbage is a satisfying vegetable to grow in the garden like carrots and parsnips. It is relatively undemanding and available from July on in the garden. In the fall after hard frost, when you have harvested everything from the garden, it will keep in the fridge for at least a month. We consider it a staple, like carrots or onions, that we almost never have to buy.
Cabbage, by many, is considered a poor man’s vegetable and thus there are millions of recipes from around the world for wonderful cabbage soups. The following was inspired by the Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine, with my adaptations.
This is a hearty, fire in the wood stove, winter evening soup. It’s spicy, has a good kick from the black pepper, a sweetness from the onion and cabbage and a velvety, translucent, burnt sienna colored broth. It’s very soothing to eat. Pair it with focaccia or a crusty artisan loaf and it is a masterpiece. - Weezie
Hearty cabbage soup with sausage and potatoes Serves 10-12
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia (5 cups), 1/2″ dice
3 large cloves garlic (3 tablespoons), minced
1 large green cabbage (18-20 cups chopped), cored and chopped in 1″ dice
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, washed but not peeled, 1″ dice
1 1/2 pounds cooked Andouille or other pork sausage (we love Niman Ranch‘s Andouille), cut in 1/4″ coins
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can tomato paste
8 cups chicken broth, homemade
1 tablespoon smoky or sweet paprika or 1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (about 4″ sprig) or 1 teaspoon dried
75 grinds black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons sea salt
Brown the sausage. Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium low. Add the olive oil. Saute the sausage until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Note about sausage: If you’d like to use another sausage try to find a high quality, sturdy pork sausage that has some heat. You can also use less sturdy or raw sausages, but you will want to handle it in the following manner: If it is cooked sausage, brown it in a pan for 5 minutes, cut into coins, and set aside. If it is raw sausage, cook it in a pan on medium until done in the center and browned on the outside, about 5 minutes on each side, then cut into coins and set aside. In both cases, add the sausage 5 minutes before the soup is done to prevent it from falling apart.
Add the vegetables. Add the onion and garlic and saute until they begin to soften. Stir in the cabbage and potatoes, put on the lid and cook for about 5 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt.
Making the roux. Put the tomato paste in a small bowl with 1 cup stock and whisk until smooth. Set Aside. Stir 1/2 cup flour into the vegetables. Stir it in completely until there is no trace of flour left. Add the wine. Stir. Add the tomato paste. Stir. Add in the broth. Stir.
Season and simmer. Add the paprika, sugar, thyme, rosemary, black pepper and salt. Stir. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. If it is too thick for your liking, add 2 more cups of either water or broth and return to a slow boil for 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings. The soup can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to one month.