Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Cabbage and Caraway Soup

 I was planning this soup as a nice winter warmer, but now it's unseasonably warm...  Anyhoo - this week I was away at a wedding, and no, I didn't cry, but I did get rather drunk and sing and dance until I felt creaky the next morning.  So I resolved to get more healthy (which, on reading some old posts I seem to do a lot, yet I'm still not healthy.  Maybe it's a problem of willpower not diet?)

In the veg box this week was some lovely cabbage, which seemed to be ideal for forming the basis of a healthy soup.  Now cabbage soup always seems to get a bad reputation, either as the basis for another fad diet, or as a symbol of poverty (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a lot to answer for there...) or as a symbol of perceived Eastern European austerity.

Not pictured - 3 caterpillars that crawled out of the cabbage...

When I was thinking about cabbage, two things came into mind, one was bacon, which always livens up a dull vegetable (or anything else to be honest...) and caraway.  I have recently fallen in love with the humble caraway seed, after getting into bread making a bit (well, with the help of a bread making machine - it's not cheating is it?) and caraway seeds make fresh bread even tastier.  I love the aniseed-y flavour, so I thought, why not throw it all together and see what it comes out like.

As it happens, the soup was rich and filling and the caraway smelled so nice when the soup was cooking I was drooling all afternoon.

So think cabbage soup is boring?  Give this a whirl and see if it doesn't change your mind...

Recipe after the jump

2 Large Onion
200g Cabbage
300g Potatoes
70g Pancetta 
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1tbsp Caraway Seeds
25g Butter
1l Chicken Stock


1.  Melt the butter over a medium heat in your soup pan.  Add the cubes of pancetta and gently fry until they begin to colour.

2.  Add the onions and bay leaves and sweat down over a low heat until the onions soften, but not colour.

3. Add the finely chopped garlic cloves and caraway seeds and cook for another 3 minutes, then add the shredded cabbage and cubed potato. Cook for a further 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.

4.  Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until everything is thoroughly cooked and the potatoes are starting to break up.  Check the seasoning and then serve.  Enjoy!

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