Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cabbage Soup with Sausage and White Wine

Two things captivated me when I spotted this recipe years ago.  It called for two cups of white wine, which I felt sure would elevate a simple cabbage soup well beyond being brothily boring, and the cooking instructions said to cook "until the cabbage is redolent and tender."  I cannot resist words like "redolent."

A truly easy yet extraordinarily savory and memorable fall and winter soup.
Adapted from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Sylvia Thompson

The original recipe was a stew, and used only one cup of chicken broth.  My other additions are the red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, and smoked paprika. The recipe also states that "a Czech or Pole would also season the stew with a good pinch of caraway seeds." Though not of either of those persuasions, I do grind some caraway seed a tad with mortar and pestle and sprinkle atop the soup when serving.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large or 8 small carrots, diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced, or 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I usually add quite a bit more thyme)
6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound sausages, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or larger if you prefer
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups good chicken broth
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Freshly ground black pepper

Boiled potatoes and sour cream or yogurt for serving

Heat olive oil in large soup pot.  Add carrots and onions and saute for several minutes.  Add tomatoes, thyme and garlic, and heat through.

Pile the cabbage on top of the vegetables, and scatter the sausage atop the cabbage.  Pour wine and broth over, and sprinkle with the paprika.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring the mixture all together at 20 minutes.  When the cabbage is "redolent and tender," add pepper, taste for salt (I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon), and serve over boiled potatoes.  Top with sour cream or yogurt if you wish.

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