Liz’s Kabisuppe…A Wintry Cabbage Soup

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Bleak, cold days call for hearty soups made with ease. This recipe, “Kabisuppe” which means cabbage & rice soup originating in Sweden & Norway)) is from my friend, Liz Shenk, owner, with her husband John Shenk, of “12 South Inn Suites” in the 12th South Neighborhood of Nashville.  Liz also cooks up some wonderful dishes from the most simple beginnings. A Cabbage & an Onion are the two main ingredients in this soup. Basmati rice & a generous pinch of Caraway Seed finish it off. With just a bit of work and very little time you will have one heartwarming soup for a wintry evening.

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“How easily happiness begins by dicing onions. A lump of sweet butter slithers and swirls across the floor of the saute pan, especially if its errant path crosses a tiny slick of olive oil. Then a tumble of onions” (Excerpted from the poem “Onions” by William Matthews.)

Liz's Kabisuppe

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter/1 stick
  • 1 large onion, cut in large dice
  • 1 medium head of Cabbage, cored & chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Generous pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add in sliced onion and chopped cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the chicken broth & caraway seeds. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup water if soup gets too thick.
  3. Add rice and cook another 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  4. Taste & adjust seasonings.

Notes from Liz: Rice can be cooked separately and added to soup after it is cooked. This will keep the soup from getting too thick.

Eat well, stay warm. Be kind.

“Winter. Time to eat fat and watch hockey…..February, month of despair, with a skewered heart in the centre. I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries with a splash of vinegar.”    (From: “February” a poem by Margaret Atwood)

“A Simple Snow Day Soup to Melt the Ice & Warm Your Heart”

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This is for all you Mid-Westerners out there…those of you who have to get up in the dark to feed your livestock, milk the cows, feed the hens…every harsh winter day. This winter has been especially cold & snowy for one of my favorite bloggers, Cecillia, at thekitchengarden. She just writes the best stories about her “farmy” in Illinois. Go by for a visit….she is my warm, cozy, lentil soup inspiration.

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It is a simple enough soup that I conjured up on the one & only real “snow day” experienced this winter here at Fifth Avenue North. I, of course, loved every flake that fell, lightly covering the sidewalks & streets. There is something so beautiful about walking in the dark as snow flakes fall under city streetlights. I did not have to care for any sheep, cows or piggies. I just walked the dog leisurely and wandered aimlessly…heading home when I got too cold to enjoy a bowl of “Snow Soup”.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 cloves garlic smashed, 2 carrots sliced, 1 (28 oz/two 14 oz) cans Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with juice, 4 cups low-fat chicken broth, 1 cup dried sprouted lentils, a generous handful of baby spinach leaves or chopped kale, kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

(All items I had in my pantry, we do not drive to the store on our “snowy day” here in Nashville, TN!)

        Carrots & onions in olive oilFire-roasted Tomatoeschicken broth

1. Saute onions in olive oil until slightly softened. Add smashed garlic cloves & cook 1 minute.  Toss in carrots & stir. Add can(s) of fire-roasted tomatoes & chicken broth. Bring to a low boil.

Sprouted Lentils

2. Stir in lentils. Cook on simmer for a 30 minutes, stirring every so often just until lentils are softened. (Add more broth or water if soup gets too thick for your taste.)

Lentils                    stir soupspinach

3. Toss in the spinach or kale & cook just until greens are wilted. Serve hot with “Parmesan Cornbread Croutons” (recipe to follow)

Snow soup with croutons

“Parmesan-Cornbread Croutons”

Ingredients: 2 cups self rising yellow cornmeal, 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk, 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a flat baking pan. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, spread in prepared pan, sprinkle with shredded Parm & bake until golden brown & puffy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool on a rack. When cool, cut into croutons to top off your soup.

                      ingredients for cornbread croutonsParmesan Cornbread Croutons

Parmesan Cornbread CroutonsOutside there were no blizzards, nor banks of snow, no waiting animals or chores to be done. I sat quietly, eating my Snow Soup, looking out my window sending warm thoughts to all the folks on all the “farmys” in the Mid-West this night.

Stay warm, Spring is near.