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Tweak this cabbage soup

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I really like this cabbage soup, but feel its a bit bland. Any advice on how it could be improved?


INGREDIENTS

6 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup barley
2 cups diced ham
1 tablespoon dried parsley

METHOD

Place the chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage, barley, ham and parsley in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
post #2 of 16
Replace half the ham with an equal quantity of kielbasa. Add 6 tbs cider vinegar, and 4 tbs sugar to the recipe. Taste and adjust the sweet and sour balance to your own preference.

BDL
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
forgive my ignorance....why?
post #4 of 16
Cabbage soup, and cabbage generally for that matter, loves sweet and sour.

BDL
post #5 of 16
I've got a few minutes before my homemade pot pie is ready. :) Where to start? If you're throwing it all into broth and boiling it, the vegetables will be overcooked and the flavors will be lifeless. Here are some ideas from me (remember, I'm a home cook- not a chef):

Start by sauteeing the garlic in some vegetable oil or butter for a minute or so, then add the onion, celery and carrots. Season the vegetables with some salt and pepper (go easy at this stage; your broth may be salty and the ham certainly is).

I'd pre-cook the barley, at least par-cook it unless you want a thick consistency to the broth.

You can sweat the cabbage a bit before adding it later in the process.

Why not use fresh parsley? Fresh dill is good, too. I'd also use some strips of leek.

As for the ham, don't add it all at once. It can make nice seasoning, but if you put it in at the beginning, it'll be tasteless.

I hope this helps. I'm sure others will have plenty more suggestions!

Mezzaluna
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post #6 of 16
Homemade chicken broth would be one way, the canned stuff is bland and to salty. As the chicken simmers add in a ham hock.
post #7 of 16
Maybe try upping the seasoning, adding some bay, rosemary, pepper? Maybe add some white wine too.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
does it make sense to add vinegar, wine, sugar, bay, and rosemary?

also, what is the "proper" way to cook vegetables like onions, carrots, and cabbage when using in soup. should I boil them in broth for an hour? or should they saute on separately, then boil in broth for an hour? or should they saute separately, then get added near the end?
post #9 of 16
I agree on all suggestions here. The soup may be a bit flat because there really is nothing to bring up the punch.

Since the season for apples is upon us, why not add some apple cider to the mix?

I love the Kelbesa idea, or you could even opt for cubed garlic sausage.

You are going to want to cook the cabbage until it is just tender. One way about knowing it is time is when the vegetables float to the top - that is when they are ready.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #10 of 16
I love cabbage soup also..........I sauté the cabbage, celery and onions in butter and thicken the chicken broth with a Roux so its creamy. after its thickened add the sautéed veggies. The Ham would be leaner ,but not adding any flavor. A good Kielbasa would be good. salt and pepper to taste...............Believe it or not, I slice Nathans hot dogs and the kids are more likely to eat it and my wife loves it so I guess it works. It they are happy, I'm happy...............Bill
post #11 of 16
When my MIL made cabbabe soup, she always added crushed tomatoes, usually canned ones. Mmmm...making me hungry...I might have to make some tomorrow.
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post #12 of 16
I'd add a bunch of sliced leeks to the basic recipe.

And agree with others: the veggies should all be sauteed first, and then the liquid added.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 16
I'd replace the ham with smoked ham hocks. Maybe a couple of pounds or so. It would be a bit more work, I'd simmer the hocks for an hour or two in the broth, then pull them out, sorting through to extract the good meat and chucking the bones and fat. Return the meat to the broth and continue on as per your recipe.

You could also use some smoked, bone in pork chops. Put them in at the beginning, then a while before serving pull them out and trim the meat off the bones, dicing it and chucking it back in. With the hocks or chops, simmering the bones for a while will help extract gelatin and give the soup a better body and mouth feel.

Easier would be to get a couple pounds of peppered bacon, render it down then crumble into the soup, simmer for the last 10 - 15 minutes or so.

mjb.
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post #14 of 16
Two words: ba-con. I would cook the soup with a ham hock then add thick dices of bacon, or lardons. The bacon can be sauteed first, then added at the end to retain it's crispiness. Or it can be added early and cooked along with everything else. I've also made a cabbage and white bean soup. Basically I just added a can or two of cannelini beans to a regular cabbage soup recipe. It thickened the soup and the result was delicious.
post #15 of 16
Absolutely saute the veggies before adding stock. I also add canned tomatoes, some herbs,basil, rosemary, peppercorns, and/or which ever you like to taste. If possible use fresh parsley, handfiul.
I also like adding the leek with the onion and other aeromatics.

I add a splash of balsamic vinegar, or fresh lemon or lime juice, or white wine at the end. Acid rounds out so many dishes.

Enjoy,
Nan
post #16 of 16
I agree with sauteing the veg.

Towards the end add some freshly grated nutmeg. I promise, its really lovely. Same when you do braised cabbage.
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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