Sunday, 3 November 2013

Soup Sunday: cabbage soup

After all the wine and gala-infused high life it's time to get back to normal and Soup Sunday! This week's star? A bowl of comforting, warming cabbage soup!

Cabbage soup is familiar to everyone from the pre-Atkins era - I have a feeling everyone of my readers is old enough to have tried the infamous cabbage soup diet.  You can't really live on it, so I also have a feeling that any pounds anyone of us might have lost on it have crept back (and brought a couple of friends along)?

Cabbage soup is easy and extremely affordable dish though and much like minestrone, makes for an excellent final resting place for anything you might have lying around. Today's take was the result of all the cabbage left from the stuffed cabbage a little while ago. And cabbage soup needn't be bland - for this, too, you can incorporate some lovely, dark, spicy notes by taking a leaf out of Oriental kitchens like I did today. Chilli, ginger, garlic, star anise, clove, kaffir lime leaves and allspice gave the soup a whole new feel!

Roughly 6 portions

400 g mince meat
1 chilli
2 garlic cloves
about 3 cm piece of ginger
about 400-500 g cabbage
3 carrots
1 onion
1 tsp ground cloves
6 allspice peppers
1 star anise
3 kaffir lime leaves (or 3 small bay leaves)
1 l good quality stock (depends on which meat you're using)

Finely chop ginger, garlic and chilli. Sauté them in a little bit of oil and then add clove. Toss the spices together and add mince. Brown it and then add rest of the spices. Pour in stock and bring to boil. 

Shred cabbage, carrot and onion to thin strips. Add them into the soup in the order of cooking - first carrot, 5 minutes after this onion and then another 5 minutes later cabbage. Continue cooking over moderate heat until vegetables are done to your liking (I for instance like them to retain some of the crunchiness). Serve, for instance with some coriander leaves.

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