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Kitchen Story: We’re In the Soup Now Part II – from Fiction to Kitchen

March 14, 2011

My last Bus Story was about a guy sitting with a stock pot on the ole 54, and then I made soup for dinner tonight.  So the soup-theme seems to be hanging out with us a little longer.  Right off, let me say that one of my favorite things about soup is that, like stew, it is often better the next day. So fortunate for us, some wonderful friends sent us home with leftovers from a dinner party, so we had that amazing dish for dinner tonight, and the meaty cabbage soup I made gets to hang out in the refrigerator until tomorrow and get all mergy and fabulous.  (Yes, mergy. No, it’s not a word.  Shouldn’t it be, though?)

This soup hits a note with me, probably plucking a few strings from my family ancestry.  When I read the recipe, I thought that it needed a little something extra, something more than ground beef, so I swapped out half of the ground beef for kielbasa.  Typically I would use pork, but the store had turkey kielbasa on sale, so that’s what went into the soup.  As a kid, I think I would have freaked out having this much cabbage in anything, but as an adult, cabbage, particularly in soup, is now a dear friend.  With the onions and celery joining the cabbage, the smoky meaty flavor is balanced nicely with the vegetables.  This is one of those dishes that is a great starting point – I could see adding potatoes and all sorts of additional vegetables to it, plus cayenne or other spicy elements to give it a fiery kick.  For now, it rests and I can’t wait to come home from work, heat it up, tear off a piece of French bread, and settle into soup.

Country Cabbage Soup

12-14 servings

Best Church Supper Recipes

2 lbs ground beef*

2 cans (28 oz each) stewed tomatoes

1 medium head cabbage, shredded

2 large onions, chopped

6 celery ribs, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

*Substitute 2 lbs beef for 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb fully cooked kielbasa cut into pieces. Sauté the kielbasa along with the beef in the first step.  This is also a good time to add any additional flavors. I tossed in about 1 teaspoon each of oregano and thyme, and about ½ teaspoon of sweet Hungarian paprika.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Add the tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and celery, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper.

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