If I do any editing of my photos for the blog, it is usually to remove dust and scratches from my table. However, because I have deemed this a “rustic” soup, perhaps the scratches are apropos. Or, I simply became overwhelmed by the sheer number of scratches that appeared with this photo.
Alas, at first glance, this might seem like a white bean soup… but hidden inside is indeed…. CABBAGE! And mushrooms.. and some barley… with some Madeira, thyme and smoked paprika spiked with a touch of orange juice at the end. The flavours worked well and would be perfect to warm up with over a winter day. Even if it was positively spring-like yesterday, this soup was still delicious.
1/4 cup pot barley
1 cup dry flageolet beans (or white bean of choice)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp oil of choice
1 large onion, diced
6 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
salt to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp Madeira (or dry sherry, or more vegetable broth)
12 ounces chopped cabbage
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (I obtained it from a small clementine)
1. Cook your white beans and barley in the vegetable broth. I did this together in a pressure cooker (start at 18 minutes at high pressure and do a quick release). Otherwise use a regular soup pot, and simmer for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and saute until it softens and begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the mushrooms soften, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and Madeira and stir until the alcohol cooks off.
3. Once the beans and barley are cooked, add them, along with the extra broth, to the mushrooms along with the cabbage and paprika. Stir in the water. Raise high until boiling, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Feel free to add more water if needed.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serves well with a sliced of toasted bread.