Thursday, September 22, 2022

Mom's Cabbage Soup

Now that Fall has arrived, it's officially soup season! My mom is known for her cabbage soup, a simple, hearty meal we traditionally serve with a side of bread and cheese. Not only is it fairly quick to whip up, it is one of the cheapest meals out there - perfect for today's economic climate.

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Happy Fall everyone! My mom hearkened the new season this year by making a huge batch of her famous cabbage rolls to share with family and friends. We always have the inner part of the (very large) cabbage left over from the process, and being the frugal person she is, it never goes to waste! Mom's been making this soup for as long as I can remember, and while incredibly simple, it is also the perfect addition to a lunch spread when coupled with good cheese (she likes aged Cheddar) and whatever hearty, artisan-style bread I happen to have made lately. As it is rather bare-bones, it is also the perfect jumping off point for additions (like chopped carrots, chunks of ham or chicken, cooked beans or potatoes) if you want something more well rounded and "full meal" like. 

This is also the soup I think of when I think of recovery or recuperation, not only from the persistent Fall colds that seem to run through the neighbourhood but from the exhaustion that comes with the changing pace and routine. Kids (even big kids, like my sister) are back to school, the garden is wrapping up, birthdays and Thanksgiving are on the horizon and there seems to be a never-ending ping pong game of back and forth to appointments, the store, and people's houses. Coming home for a few moments to savour a home cooked meal re-centres the soul and gives it just that little bit of fortification to keep going, like a little hug in the chaos. Whatever this soup does for you, I wish you nothing but the best for this season!

Mom's Cabbage Soup

Serves 10
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tbsp whole peppercorns (this is traditional, though you can use 1 tsp ground pepper if you don't want to pick out the whole peppercorns!)
1 small cabbage, boiled then and chopped (we use leftover from making cabbage rolls)
3 stalks celery, diced
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (with juice)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onion.
  2. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the salt, thyme, garlic powder, caraway, and peppercorns and cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the boiled cabbage, celery, broth and tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a brisk simmer and cook 30 minutes.

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