Monday, June 6, 2011

Cabbage Soup

Harvested from the hoop house this past week were Carrot Nantes, Cauliflower Graffiti and several more heads of cabbage, Stonehead and an early Golden Acre, plus some Kale which is now in the outside raised beds. And since we have frozen tomatoes from last year's garden, what should a person do? The garden gives you cabbage... make cabbage soup.

Cabbage Soup from Diana's kitchen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground hot (or sweet) Italian sausage
1 medium to large onion (about 2 cups), chopped or sliced
3-4 stalks of celery (about 2 cups) chopped
1 head of fennel (about 2 cups), sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 carrots, sliced/diced
3 cups diced tomatoes (frozen tomatoes from the garden)
2 large heads of cabbage (5-6 pounds), coarsely chopped
2 (32 oz) containers of chicken broth
Kale, chopped

Heat olive oil in an extra large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add ground hot sausage and cook until slightly browned. Add chopped onion, celery, (fennel), garlic, touch of salt and pepper and saute over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, heat through and simmer for 45 minutes. Add more broth and salt and pepper if needed. If you like more broth, add additional liquid, but we like it without too much. A few minutes before it is done, add kale and heat through. Simple, quick and oh so yummy.

Note: This makes a large quantity of soup, but it makes sense to do so since we enjoy having several meals of it and then freezing the remainder in quart containers for later use. Fennel was omitted this time since it was not available in the garden. And remember that cabbage cooks down so the raw quantity will be greatly reduced when cooked, one-third to one-half. Additionally, since we had local fresh ground pork, it was used in lieu of the hot Italian sausage. Since we like the spicy flavor, I added 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/2 - 1 teaspoon fennel seed to the browned pork.

... and now I see some Cole slaw in our future.