Posts Tagged ‘cabbage soup’

Renown vegetarian cookbook writer, Rose Elliott found this in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery and adapted it and I have tweaked it a bit.

It’s a quick excursion to the East.

There was a small cabbage in the fridge and some fenugreek seeds on the shelf in the larder, which I whizzed into powder in a converted coffee grinder!

The fenugreek is optional, but interesting… (as its name implies this herb is found in the mediterranean region and has healing qualities as well as culinary uses.)

Our friend Myriam called in this morning and said it was minus ten last night and would not get warmer until Wednesday, so a bowl of something gently spicy and soupy for lunch might be just the ticket.

for 4

250gms/8oz red lentils

2 1/4 pints/1300ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

375gms/12oz tinned tomatoes–chopped

  • Rinse the lentils thoroughly.
  • Put them in a saucepan with the stock and the turmeric and bring up to the boil.
  • Cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes then set aside.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder (optional)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 onion–chopped

a small cabbage–outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and shredded

Juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper

Parsley or better still fresh coriander–chopped to sprinkle over

  • Heat the oil in a new pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds and cook them until they start to pop–a couple of minutes; they look brown in the photo but in fact stay black.
  • Mix in the curry powder and the fenugreek (if using) and let them  cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the onion and the cabbage and mix everything together well.
  • Cover the pan and cook  for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wilted cabbage mix to the lentils.
  • Bring the mixture up to the simmer.
  • Leave it to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley or coriander when you serve.

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A simple but delicious soup this, that cooks for a while– deepening the taste.

The recipe is adapted from Carolyn Mcrum’s wonderful  The Soup Book published in 1978.

She writes: “Soup-making is one of the most pleasurable of culinary processes, but it takes time, and that it why it is so little enjoyed in a hurried age. My hope is to persuade people that the soup you make yourself is infinitely superior to soup from a packet or tin, and that making soup is a comforting activity, surpassed only by the activity of eating it”.

For 4

1 cabbage—a Savoy or one of the other “beautiful faced” varieties, rather than the tightly formed White or Green cabbage

Red Drumhead cabbages

2 medium onions—chopped small

1 garlic clove—chopped small

1 rasher (slice) of bacon—chopped small

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ½ pints/1 ¼ litres—vegetable stock—I use organic stock cubes

Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese to finish

  1. Blanch the cabbage whole for two minutes in lightly salted boiling water—this keeps the cabbage together in the water. Set it aside to cool, before chopping it up.
  2. Soften the onions, garlic and bacon very gently in the oil for at least 10 minutes—this is the taste engine of the soup and needs time for the magic to work.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage and the stock and season well.
  4. Cook at a gentle simmer for at least an hour and a half.
  5. Check the seasoning and serve hot with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese worked in.

The wonderful aroma—though not everyone would call it that—fills the house for hours!

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