Cabbage was on sale for St.Patrick’s Day, so I bought 3 heads. Fast forward to post-tax season and there were two left! Hmmm. What to make? The weather turned cold and a soup seemed in order. I looked around and found Heidi Swanson’s Rustic Cabbage Soup. Sounded good.
Cabbage and White Bean Soup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock
1 15 oz. can white beans, (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
She suggests this method: Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes – it’s o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two.
Alas, I didn’t read the recipe–fried up the onions and then added the potatoes.
Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning – getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is.
Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese. Serves 4.
She talks a lot about the stock issue for this, and I have to admit she’s right. I used my jar of bouillion “better than bouillion brand”–and I used one big tsp for this as sometimes I find it’s too strong. But I should have used a bit more I think. I added some red pepper flakes, but it was still needing improvement. But it was a pretty good soup!
We also had toasted baguette slices with butter. Yum!
The goaties and chickens enjoyed the cabbage core and outer leaves, and I’m sure the chickens will also get the end of the soup. One head left to go.
I knew the goaties would love some cabbage! They ate a few outside leaves and the core. Sure wish i had a video of Sidney eating the long core fingers. What a workout. But she perservered. The Pongo sniffed and ignored. Then when i left and returned she decided to not be so picky. Cabbage, yum! We thought so too, this was a good variation of colcannon. I boiled potatoes first, fished them out, boiled cabbage, drained, then mashed potatoes in pot, and stirred in the cabbage. The doode was on his way home so I put the lot into a dish in the oven dotted with butter and topped with a fried chopped onion. We ate nearly the whole thing!
- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 tbsp. milk or unsweetened/plain soy milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 2 cups chopped cabbage or kale
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup chopped onions or green onions
- Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender. Drain, reserving water.
- Place the hot potatoes in a large bowl.
- Add chopped cabbage to the reserved potato water. Cook 6-8 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter or margarine.
- When they are cool enough to handle, mash potates with a hand masher or fork. Add the fried onions and cabbage.
- Add milk, salt and pepper and beat until fluffy.
- Indulgent peasants: fry in a touch of oil or margarine to make colcannon patties.
- Rich peasants: add cheese and a touch of butter to the top.
- Modern peasants: colcannon can be made with leftover meat. Add some chopped meatless ham when mixing the ingredients together.
- Nutritious peasants: substitue kale for the cabbage.
Reference: Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell. The Irish Heritage Cookbook. Anness Publishing Ltd; London: 2005.