Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Hearty Cabbage Soup
Today presented the unusual occurrence of a rainy day in L.A. It was downright dreary. I think nothing suits a gray day like a big pot of homemade soup. I had a head of cabbage on hand and had been dreaming of making this for a while now - today was the perfect day.
My homegirl Lisa Kekaula, of The Bellrays, made this on a tour stop in France last year and blew my mind. The ingredients are so simple and fresh, but the flavor is rich and intense. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and now, after making it myself and sampling a heavenly bowlful, I feel indebted to share it with you...
I'll give you my measurements - it made quite a large amount, which I'm sure I'll be enjoying all week. Lisa said it gets better by the day, so I'm in for quite a treat. My roommate, Shaun, just got a pair of really nice cast iron pots made by a French company called Staub, and the bigger of the two was perfect for simmering the soup. The recipe calls for Herbes De Provence, a wicked good herb blend from France made up of thyme and other delicious things. I have a big bag of it from my last trip to France, but I'm pretty sure you can track it down in select American stores. She recommended using this very spicy and awesome pasta sauce seasoning we picked up in Italy - I didn't have any left, so I threw a mix together myself. I love this soup with a bit of a kick, but simply oregano, salt and pepper would work fine.
Hearty Cabbage Soup
1/2 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1/2 in cubes
5 carrots, peeled and chopped to 1/2 in cubes
2-3 tbsp Herbes De Provence
2 tbsp oil or Earth Balance
1 medium sized cabbage head, chopped
1 can cannelini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cube vegetable bouillon
Spicy Italian Seasoning:
1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Begin by heating some oil in a soup pot on low heat and simmer the onions until they start turning translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes. In a large casserole dish, put the potatoes and carrots together, coat with the Herbes De Provence and mix with a little oil or Earth Balance, as I used. Put the dish in the oven, preheated to 300 degrees. Add the cabbage to the onions and garlic in the soup pot and add a cup or so of water and cover so the cabbage will steam while the potatoes and carrots are roasting. When the potatoes and carrots are fairly cooked through but still firm and not overly mushy (should take about 30 minutes) add them to the soup pot with the white beans and celery. Add water so that it covers everything in the pot by about an inch, then add the bouillon and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or more...
My house smelled amazing while making this, and the soup is unbelievably hearty and flavorful. There is a bit of prep work and cooking time, but overall it's very simple and so worth the work. The perfect compliment to a dreary day. Enjoy!