Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rustic Potato Cabbage Bean Soup

Fast, Simple, Healthy & Good. Inspired by of my favorite food websites due to Heidi's love of natural foods. I LOVE this soup....but cabbage was eaten often while growing up in my home, so it's not a stretch. This soup is very mild tasting and filling due to the addition of beans. It would be really delicious served with a hearty wheat bread or a sandwich for lunch. If I could use one word to describe this soup, it would be 'cozy'--perfect for a rainy day. If you omit the cheese, it can be made into a vegan soup.

You can use any bean you like--Heidi's recipe called for white beans (I only had garbanzos). She also called for less broth, but for some reason I needed more. I used a vegetarian 'chicken' broth without MSG. In recipes that are as simple as this, the quality of your ingredients is essential. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil and a really good quality grated hard cheese (like Romano, Parmesan, or Grano Padano). Enjoy!


1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 potatoes, skin on (or off-as in my case due to bad skins), cut 1/4-inch pieces (approximately)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, sliced or diced
7 cups stock (approximately, original recipe called for 5 cups)
1 can of beans, drained & rinsed well (your choice-I would have preferred cannellini or navy beans, but only had garbanzos on hand)
1/2 of a cabbage, cored and sliced into (approximate) 1/4-inch ribbons (of course I didn't measure!)

For serving:
A bit more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times (and add a bit of stock if the potatoes stick to the pan).

Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit.

Now adjust the seasoning - Heidi says that getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)...

Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese (I mixed in a handful of cheese at the last minute into the whole pot so that is why my pictures lack a cheese topping).

Makes about 6 servings.

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