January. The New Year. Time for resolutions.
Personally, I don’t need a special day to reflect on where I’d like to be. I try to continually re-assess where I am and where I’d like to be.
Why else do you think I started a quest to eat more cruciferous veggies in November? ;)
Cabbage is a cruciferous veggie that is routinely shafted as a diet food. Ever heard of the cabbage soup diet? Well, I think it has to do with eating a lot of cabbage…
Cabbage is filled with antioxidants and other nutrients, yet is low calorie. The NY Times dubbed it one of the top foods you aren’t eating (yet!).
Please don’t let the odd association with diets prevent you from trying delicious cabbage soup. I was positively smitten with the smokey Russian sauerkraut soup (Shchi) that I tested for Vegan Eats World. I really, really, want to share the recipe because it was that good! But it is top-secret for now. (hint- veganize this soup and you are halfway there). Instead, I will share yet another cabbage soup that is equally delicious yet completely different. Surprisingly delicious in its simplicity.
This is a spoof on the typically cheese-laden French onion soup from Vegetarian Times (September 2011) with inspiration from Joanne. With my variations, though, you would have to look harder to find its original basis (especially since I omitted the cheese croutons) but it is tasty. Caramelized onions are beefed up with braised cabbage in this thick chowder spiced with apple cider and thyme. Like Joanne, I opted to add sweet potatoes, but also white beans to make it more of a meal-in-a-bowl soup. Everything worked so well together, with the subtly sweet caramelized onions and apple cider with the sustenance from the sweet potatoes and beans. Good the day it was made but even more delicious as leftovers. The thyme was a nice flavour but I can’t wait to try Joanne’s version because she used pomegranate juice and rosemary.
Here are some of my other favourite cabbage recipes:
Braised Cabbage with Chorizo Seitan Sausage
Chinese Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Tofu
Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad
Mexican Cabbage Stirfry
Braised Cabbage with Onions and Carrots
Quinoa and Red Lentil Kitchari with Cabbage
Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Chowder with Sweet Potatoes and White Beans
1/2 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 large onions, cut into large dice (1 1/2 lb.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb green cabbage, cut into large dice (6 to 7 cups)
5 cups water or vegetable broth
1 lb sweet potato, chopped into 1 cm cubes
1 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed if canned (I used Rancho Gordo’s Yellow Eye Bean but any white bean – Great Northern, white kidney, baby lima, etc, would do)
1. Combine apple cider, soy sauce, and vinegar in small bowl.
2. Begin by caramelizing your onions. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat, adding the onion and sauté, stirring all the while, over a high heat for about a minute. Sprinkle with salt. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the onions for another 45 minutes, stirring them occasionally. You want them dark and caramelized. Add garlic, 1 1/2 Tbsp thyme, and apple cider mixture, stirring to scrape up browned bits on pan bottom. Bring to a simmer, and cook 1 minute.
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, and season with salt, if desired. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, sweet potatoes and white beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Add caramelized onions whenever they are ready and simmer another 5 minutes for the flavours to meld. Serve topped remaining 1 1/2 tsp thyme.