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Monday, April 09, 2007

Cabbage & Green Garlic Soup


So, how do we feel about humble food?

Are complex, artistic dishes, made with the best food the world has to offer, more worthy than humble, local recipes made from fresh, simple ingredients?

What kind of cook/chef do you prefer: one who can create exotic dishes from wildly complex flavors and serve them with distinctive foams/compotes/remoulades or one who can make a good meal with anything you happen to have in the fridge or pantry?

I often thought it would be fun for the cooking network to have a show where a fabulous chef shows up at some normal person's house and prepare a fabulous meal with only what they find already there plus one secret ingredient they're allowed to bring (without knowing what's already in the house, of course).

So, why am I prattling on about humble food? Because this recipe for Cabbage & Green Garlic Soup is definitely humble, but, boy, is it hitting the spot ce soir. This morning I woke up with a throat on fire, so it's been soup for lunch, popsicles and ice cream for snacks, and soup for dinner.

This cabbage soup is inspired by a recipe for Layered Mountain Cheese, Bread, & Cabbage Soup from The Vegetarian Table: France. Well, honestly, more by the photograph of the soup than the recipe per se.

Anyway, this simple cabbage and green garlic soup was spicy and superb! The Judy's Breadstick slices with Gruyere made this soup bowl almost decadent.

As you know, garlic is a seriously protective little plant, and regular consumption of garlic lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by lessening the amount of free radicals in the bloodstream (source: World's Healthiest Foods). So this soup is my contribution to this week's Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday.

Here's the humble recipe:

Cabbage & Green Garlic Soup:

3 tbsp butter
1 med. onion, chopped
3 green garlic stalks, finely sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp green olive paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup white beans
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or less if you don't want spicy)
salt & pepper
1 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
2 slices dark bread (Judy's Breadsticks are vegan and fabulous)
Grated Gruyere (optional)

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed soup pan. Fry the chopped onion over low heat for 5 minutes. Add green garlic and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth, water, green olive paste, cumin, beans, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes covered. Taste soup and season. Add vinegar and cook 3 more minutes. Serve with slices of toasted dark bread and grated gruyere (if using).

5 Comments:

Blogger Lydia said...

Hooray for humble food!

3:03 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Catherine,
It's morning here and I'm already craving a bowl of this soup! Seriously, I'm going to get some cabbage and green garlic and make it tonight.
I think you're on to something with your suggestion about a chef coming to a regular household and making something from their pantry. I think you should send it in to Food Network. "Fabulous" chef being the key word...
:)

8:35 AM  
Blogger winedeb said...

One can never go wrong with a good bowl of soup. Yours looks marvelous!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

this couldn't be more perfect for this monsoon-like weather we've been having in NY!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

it seems to me that the best a chef can do is bring out the best in his/her ingrediants. sometimes that can be done in an amazingly simple way (sliced juicy tomatoes still warm from the sun with fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper, anyone?) but as a food adventurer I love the complexity and fun of dish hours in the making - as long as the ingrediants are highlighted it's hard to go wrong, really.

9:13 AM  

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