Savory Cabbage Soup

 I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm actually already looking forward to the fall. Perhaps it's the lousy summer weather we've had, or the fact that my crab apples have started to turn red (And this means making something very special, but you'll have to wait until September for me to share!). I make soups all fall and winter long, as they're easy to make, easy to eat, and so much better tasting, and healthier than the canned versions. For some reason, I decided that tonite was the night I'd make my first batch of soup for the fall.

On days when we need a warming lunch or light dinner, or if I'm feeling under the weather, I enjoy eating this cabbage soup. I tend to make this in large batches and freeze in double portions, so it can be reheated in a moment's notice. For more substance, I've added cooked pasta or egg noodles and a generous sprinkle of parmigiano-reggiano, and I sometimes mix in whatever bite-sized veggies I have available. This evening, I added fresh corn kernels and about a cup's worth of frozen peas that had been waiting patiently in the freezer to be used up. I've frozen all of the soup, so that as soon as it gets chillier, or if we have another miserable week of rainy, cool weather, I'm prepared.

This really is a basic, simple soup recipe that you could tweak to suit your tastes.

Recipe: Savory Cabbage Soup
Makes 14 cups

You'll need:
  • olive oil 
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, coarsely chopped 
  • (I used a fresh onion from the farm)
  • 2 large heads of garlic, chopped 
  • (I used fresh garlic from the farm)
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and chopped 1/4" thick 
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence **
  • 2 dried sage leaves, crumbled (optional) 
  • 1 qt chicken broth 
  • 6 cups H2o 
  • 4 cups of cabbage (1 small head), coarsely chopped 
  • 1 cup or more peas, frozen or fresh (optional)
  • 1 cup or more corn, frozen or fresh (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

In large soup pot, heat 2 tsp oil. Add onions and garlic and cook to soften. Add carrots and herbs de provence. Cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and simmer, approx 20 minutes, or until cabbage is soft and buttery, but not mushy. Add peas and corn, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

If you'd like to freeze the soup, let cool and divide into freezer-safe containers.

**Note: For some reason, I had this in my pantry. I don't usually purchase spice blends, as most of what goes into herbs de provence is already sitting in individual jars in my pantry. If you don't have herbs de provence, don't worry. Pull out all or some of the following herbs, take a little pinch of each, and add to the soup. Adjust soup to desired taste. I sometimes add a whole bay leaf while cooking, and then remove it just before freezing or eating.

Herbs to add:

  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Savory
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Bay Leaves
  • Sage

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