Winter vegetables are fun. Yep, I said it. Most of us don't give them any credit, and we don't use them on a regular basis. I've determined we are missing out. I'm here to change that. Enter green savoy cabbage.
Usually, the only time cabbage comes into mind knowingly, is in the form of the traditional St. Paddy's Day corned beef and cabbage, or unknowingly in the form of sauerkraut for a grilled brat in the summer. Lucky for you, I've discovered that cabbage is also a great addition to a winter soup, and is incredibly easy to use.
Before you balk at this idea and grumble about how you don't like the flavor of cabbage, KNOW THIS. When slivered into strips, and added to this hearty stoup, the flavor of the cabbage takes on the flavors of everything else in the recipe. AKA you won't even know it's there. The best way I can think to describe the flavor of this stoup, is to say it tastes similar to spaghettios - think a cross between chicken noodle and tomato. If you've got kiddos at home and are trying to find a healthy alternative and a way to get them to eat some veggies, I'd recommend giving this a try. Both T & I thoroughly enjoyed it. Serve with a side of buttermilk biscuits or crusty bread.
|Recipe adapted from Food Network Rachel Ray|
CABBAGE AND RICE STOUP | Yield: 6-8 servings | Total Time: 40 minutes
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 C white rice
1 quart + 2 C chicken stock, divided
2 C water
1 1/2 lbs ground meatloaf mix*
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp coriander
2 tsp paprika
3 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2-3/4 head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 C tomato sauce
1/2 C flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp dill, chopped (substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried if you can't find fresh)
NOTE: *Meatloaf mix is available in the meat counter at most grocery stores. If you are unable to find it pre-mixed, just get 3/4 lb of both ground beef and ground pork, and mix together at home. The ground pork is an important addition to this recipe, and greatly enhances the flavors.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized sauce pot over medium high heat. Add rice, and toss to coat. Add 2 C of chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 16-18 minutes or until rice is tender.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a deep soup pot over medium high heat. Add the meat and brown 3-4 minutes. Season the meat with allspice, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add bay leaves, onions, garlic and carrots. Cook veggies 4-5 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and allow to wilt down. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining stock and 2 C water. Cover the pot, and raise heat to high bringing the soup to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked, add to the soup and continue simmering for 2-3 minutes. Stir in parsley and dill, adjust salt and pepper to your liking, and serve.
NOTE: The rice will continue to expand after it has been added to the soup. If you prefer a more of a broth based soup, don't add all of the rice. You may also prefer to add additional chicken stock or water to reach the consistency you'd like.
Do you have any good cabbage recipes?