Thursday, 21 August 2014

Savoy Cabbage Soup

I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm participating in the Farm Share basket program this summer. But honestly, I had no idea just how much bounty Mother Nature had to share. I am literally up to my ass in harvest! I get a delivery every Thursday of fresh and organic fruit and vegetables for just $17.00 a week and that includes delivery. I've been blanching, and jarring and sharing and freezing and souping and - well you name it! So much veg. Almost to the point of too much responsibility and commitment. I'm sure by the time the program ends in October, I'll be truly ready to divorce this program since commitment has never really been my thing. But that's not the story.

The basket comes full of stuff and is really quite rough around the edges from coming straight from the farm, so the first thing you have to do is sort through it all and wash it and trim off the slough and organize it. And thank God, it reduces itself by half. Then you get to work with your imagination so as not to waste any of it. They send an email with what you're getting on Monday, so you can plan. Since I had all of that work today, I decided to just throw a soup together with what I had on hand and find a way to start using some of the Savoy Cabbage. Now you don't have to use cabbage in this recipe. You can use Swiss Chard or kale or whatever green you like. But I was jammed with cabbage, so that's what's real today.

You'll need
1 small onion finely chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 potatoes peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
3 large leaves of green cabbage thinly sliced. I roll them up like a cigar and just slice through
4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp of dried chile flakes (or a bit more if you like a bit of spice)
1 chorizo sausage thinly sliced
1 can of chick peas drained (or garbanzo or kidney beans. Whatever you like)
1 quart of chicken stock. If you use the box, don't add salt till you're ready to serve

Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion and potato and the bay leaves. Let that soften up, stirring often. Add the chorizo and stir it all around for a few minutes. Add the garlic and the sliced cabbage and a tiny bit of water (about 1/3 cup) and put the lid on and let it steam for a few minutes. Add the chili pepper flakes and some pepper and push everything to the side and add the tomato paste to the bottom of the pot and give it a minute to toast on it's own there. When it bubbles, stir everything up all together. Add the chicken broth and the chick peas. Bring it up to a boil and reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least an hour, but 2 is fine. The cabbage needs to be soft. But if you use kale or chard, much less time is needed. 20 - 30 minutes is all you need. Stir it about every 15 minutes and if you start running low on broth, add water or more chicken broth to keep it to a soup like consistency. Cabbage will require this, but kale and chard will not.

Taste it before you serve and now you can add your salt if needed, and pepper to taste. A nice loaf of crusty bread would be the dandy too for a side. Pretty easy and it cooks itself while you chop and blanch away and marvel at that crazy bitch Mother Nature. Hahah but winter is just around the corner now my friends and she'll give us nothing but heartache. Cheers!

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