Good to be back!
A winter soup to welcome the New Year and re-open the blog, which has been virtually on hold while Healthy Eating for Life got launched.
Making this is a lovely long process, something to do on a cold rainy afternoon–like today.
Not a lot of work involved–most of the time the soup chugs away on its own on top of the stove .
Adapted from the inimitable and recently deceased Marcella Hazan, it sometimes features cooked sausages*–not here though.
Meredith is on a short de-tox regime–though she said not to worry about the ounce of smoked bacon that helps deepen the taste.
I’m writing this while it chugs.
4 tbls olive oil
1/2 a medium onion–chopped
2 garlic cloves–chopped
1 oz/25 gms smoked bacon–diced
1 lb/450 gms red cabbage–quartered (core sliced off) and roughly sliced
1 celery stick–chopped
3 medium tomatoes (tinned are best this time of the year)–chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1.25 pints stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes
1.5 tsp salt
500 gms/18 oz cooked white beans (jar or tinned [canned]) drained–a rough figure depending on the tin/jar.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and bacon until they start to color–about twenty minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, cabbage and celery and mix thoroughly.
- Allow the cabbage to soften completely–about 30 minutes.
- Add the salt and stock, stir in and cover the pot.
- Cook this on a very low heat, this is the chugging stage (you’ll hear it chugging!), for two hours– longer if you like!
- Then add half the beans–puréed–and stir them in.
- Cook on for ten minutes to heat them through before adding the rest of the beans.
Stir them, cover the pan and let it chug-chug for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Now the authentic Italian bit!
- Lightly color two peeled and crushed garlic cloves in four tablespoons of olive oil.
- Off the heat add a teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary.
- Pour the oil through a metal sieve into the soup and let it absorb the flavors while it cooks a further ten minutes.
* The sausages, if using, are browned in a separate pan and added, cut into chunks, after the main two hour “chug”!