Photo Credit: A. Kane
Cabbage soup—sounds pretty glamorous, doesn’t it? Granted, it may not be slick or gimmicky, but it is warm, nourishing and homey. It is exactly what I want to be eating on a cold winter’s night. As I look out the window, I pity the people stumbling home from work, fighting the winds, as I stand above the stove, stirring a pot of this soup.
I am always at a loss about what to call this percolating pot. The name cabbage soup has been appropriated by that diet craze of the 1980s where a person is allowed to eat as many bowls of the calorie-negligible “cabbage soup” as she chooses, and still lose weight. But this soup, made with bacon, onions, potato, and of course, cabbage, is hardly the same as that dietetic nightmare.
Seasoned with fresh dill and a bit of vinegar, the soup has the right amount of acid to wake you from those winter doldrums. The cabbage is sliced thinly, or perhaps the proper word is shredded. Then the potato is grated and added to the simmering pot, where it thickens, then virtually disappears. Topped with sour cream, or plain yogurt, the soup becomes even creamier, making a substantial meal.
Go ahead, ignore the name, or better yet, think of something clever to call this soup. Just give this cabbage soup a try!
Shredded Cabbage Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces slab bacon or 3 slices of sliced bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups green cabbage, shredded (about ½ a medium head)
1 baking potato, unpeeled and grated
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
sour cream or plain yogurt to serve (optional)
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the bacon and continue frying over medium-high heat until just beginning to color. Add the onion, and a bit of salt to help the onions sweat. Continue to sauté until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage and return to a boil. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes. The cabbage will begin to wilt, and decrease in volume. Add the potato, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle in the dill, and add the vinegar. Continue to simmer for additional 5 minutes to marry the flavors.
Dish up, and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt, if desired.
Adrienne Kane is a writer and photographer. She is the author of a memoir, Cooking and Screaming, and the food blog, nosheteria.com.