janet @ the taste space

Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Chowder with Sweet Potatoes and White Beans

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on January 4, 2012 at 6:29 AM

January. The New Year. Time for resolutions.

Or not.

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

This is my submission to Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice for this week’s Magazine Mondays, to Ricki’s Weekend Wellness and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

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.

Serves 6.

  1. I love cabbage. Sweet potatoes and white beans are such a great combination, and this soup seems perfectly balanced, flavour-wise. I remember the cabbage soup diet. My whole family went on it years and years ago when I was a teenager and living at home. I can’t recall if any of us lost weight, but we sure filled the house with cabbagy toots.

  2. this soup looks positively delicious!

  3. I love a good cabbage soup, and since I’m making my meal plan today, this is definitely going on it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I didn’t make those croutons either…who needs bread when you have sweet potatoes around! I love your addition of white beans…can’t believe I didn’t think to do that!

  5. Looks lovely Janet. I find very few savoury dishes are made worse by the addition of beans or a few lentils. One can often sneak them into sweet things too.

    I am with you on New Year Resolutions – and wrote about it this morning – I am going to think about me, and keep moderation in mind too. That will be enough.

  6. Happy new year! I am very impressed that you managed to make cabbage look pretty appetizing 😉 This sounds delicious!

  7. […] As I said, I don’t really do anything different around January 1. […]

  8. They look mouthwatering…should try it soon..

    First time here..You have lovely blog with awesome recipes…I am your new follower..Do check my blog if you have time..


  9. I am a big fan of cabbage. 😉 I think adding the beans to this is genius–so hearty and good. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  10. Mmm I remember seeing that recipe on Joanne’s blog. I love cabbage but have yet to try it in a soup!

  11. […] I have a lot of MM links to catch up on so here’s who’s joining me for the first MM of 2012: Janet of the taste space made Lemon Zucchini Cookies from Food52 and Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Chowder with Sweet Potatoes and White Beans from Vegetarian Times. […]

  12. […] only have I been craving cabbage, but I have also been on a sesame/tahini kick […]

  13. […] this winter were the Yellow Eye Beans from Rancho Gordo (they held their shape wonderfully in two soups and were nice and creamy in the Moroccan phyllo triangles). I also tried out Marrow beans, which […]

  14. […] Russian Sauerkraut Soup (Shchi) – This was a favourite recipe and Isa has already shared the recipe here (I loved the book’s smokey version with liquid smoke, coriander seitan, sliced cabbage along with I also added some white beans) […]

  15. […] Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Chowder with Sweet Potatoes […]

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