Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cabbage and Tomato Soup

Soups are a winter standby meal. There's not much easier than chopping up some vegetables and meat and tossing them in a pot, and hot soup makes a comforting meal on a cold winter's day.

I don't usually make as many soups in the summer (neither the DDH nor I are fans of chilled soups), but I did yesterday, and I realized something that probably should have been obvious: just as with all other preparations of vegetables, soups taste completely different when made with summer-fresh produce than with winter-stored or canned stuffs.

I guess I thought that when you're boiling the heck out of something, it doesn't much matter how fresh it is. And that's true, in that a flavorful broth can make less-than-stellar produce still taste pretty darn good.

But soup made with fresh produce? Tastes even better. Or at least different.

This soup would be vegetarian with vegetable broth instead of chicken, but would also benefit from some chicken, or some sausage, browned and thrown in at the end. The DDH went for seconds even without meat, so it's plenty tasty and fairly hearty without it.

I used fresh tomatoes (the real source of the flavor difference--there's nothing like a garden fresh tomato no matter how it's prepared, but potatoes and cooked cabbage, I think, are pretty much the same always. Though actually the potatoes really had a nice flavor in this, too. Anyway.), but in the winter would usually use a can or two of diced tomatoes, so feel free to substitute. I used two big and several small tomatoes; I'm guessing it ran about a half pound or so.

As with most vegetable soups, you can switch around the vegetables easily. Add some carrots or parsnip or green beans or whatever you have lying around.

Cabbage and Tomato Soup

 Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Vegetarian (with vegetable broth)
Vegan (with vegetable broth)

Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large pot on medium high heat.

Add 1 onion, chopped and 1 small head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced. I forgot to add any garlic because T-Rex was trying to pour the dog's water bowl out all over the kitchen again, but you really should include 3 cloves garlic.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and cabbage is getting there.

Add 1/2 pound tomatoes, diced, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 4 cups chicken broth, and enough water to finish covering the vegetables, if necessary.

Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour or until potatoes and cabbage are tender.


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