Cabbage, the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables. It just can’t seem to “get no respect”. While under-appreciated, cabbage really is a wonder vegetable. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it lasts two or three times as long as any other vegetable in the fridge. Whether raw in a coleslaw, blanched with butter, or stuffed and wrapped, cabbage is a work horse.
After a week with the flu, when I looked in my fridge to see what I could make, the only vegetable in good shape looking back at me was a lovely head of cabbage. Thus the spark of inspiration for this cabbage soup. When you’re sick, if you’re up for making anything at all, you want it to be easy, nourishing, and light. Which is exactly what this cabbage soup is. It’s also incredibly good!
All you need is some fresh cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and a few spices. Of course with so few ingredients the quality of the soup relies on the quality of your ingredients. Homemade chicken stock is the best, and a good quality canned tomatoes makes all the difference (we use Muir Glen).
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 4 to 5 cups, packed, 1/4-inch wide sliced green cabbage (from about 1 small cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage)
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock)
- 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
1 Grind spices if using whole spices: If using whole spices (coriander, fennel, cumin), grind them in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder until well ground.
2 Sauté onions and spices: Heat olive oil and butter in a 4-quart, thick bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir in the ground spices. Cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
3 Add cabbage and tomatoes: Add the sliced cabbage to the pot and stir to mix the cabbage with the onions. If you are using unsalted stock, sprinkle the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the canned whole tomatoes, with their juices, to the pot. Stir to combine.
4 Add stock, simmer till done: Add chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt. Add more salt to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked.
Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.