Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creamy Cabbage Soup

Rating: 3 out of 3 kids (Who knew?!)
Do again? Yes! We've made it twice this month already.

Homemade soup is so much better than canned, imo. It's fresher, the ingredients are simpler, and I can control the amount of salt added.

My friend gave me a cabbage from her garden a couple of weeks ago. I've never cooked with cabbage before. I took out my Betty Crocker cookbook and searched what I could do with a cabbage. This recipe is adapted from BC's.

It says to use 1 medium head of cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds). How big is a medium? I don't know what a small or large looks like. Who weighs a cabbage? I used 9 cups shredded this time. That was way too much. I used less the first time and liked the thinner consistency (and the kids agreed).

2 cups of water
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded (remove core)
1 large stalk of celery, chopped (I used two medium)
1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups (more) water
1 Tablespoon instant chicken bouillon (I used a seasoning packet from dried ramen soup)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg

1/2 cup whipping cream (I used 1% milk + 1 T extra butter the first time and liked it better)

Heat 2 cups of water in a 3 quart saucepan. Use a larger pan if you cut up too much cabbage like I did.
Way too much cabbage. Will it fit into the 3qt saucepan?

Add the cabbage, celery, and onion. Cover and heat to boiling. Stir occasionally. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN.

I will transfer over to a larger pot later.

Place in blender and blend until it's a uniform consistency. (I had to do it in batches because I used too much cabbage).

Heat butter in 3 quart large-enough saucepan over low heat until melted.
Stir in flour (I used heat-safe plastic whisk).
Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in 2 1/2 cups of water.
Heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
Boil and stir one minute.

Stir in cabbage mixture and seasonings. Heat just to boiling.

Flour, salt/pepper/nutmeg, chicken "bouillon" packet.

Stir in whipping cream (I also like 1% milk). Heat just until hot (do not boil).

Family review: we all liked it, although we liked the first batch better which had less cabbage (maybe 7 cups instead of 9) and used 1% milk instead of cream. It had a thinner consistency and enhanced flavor because it wasn't diluted with too much cabbage. I served it with saltine crackers.

I bet this would be just as good without milk or flour. (Something to try).

Betty Crocker's Cookbook: New and Revised. Golden Press, New York. Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1986, p. 311.

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