Creamy Cabbage Soup

Introduction:

Creamy cabbage soup is a hearty and wholesome dish that warms the soul and satisfies the appetite. Bursting with flavor and packed with nutrients, this soup is perfect for chilly days or anytime you crave a comforting meal. In this article, we’ll explore the goodness of creamy cabbage soup, its health benefits, and how to make it at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  •  medium head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  •  cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  tsp pepper
  • 2 cups half and half cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
  •  tsp dried thyme
  • Chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

 

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add chicken broth, celery, cabbage, onions, and carrot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together cream and milk.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper, stirring to form a smooth paste. Gradually add the cream and milk mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until it reaches your desired thickness.
  4. Gradually add the cream mixture to the vegetable mixture, stirring to combine. Add in the ham and thyme. Heat through.
  5. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve hot.
  6. Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 40 minutes  Total Time: 55 minutes

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish for Presentation: Before serving, garnish each bowl of creamy cabbage soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, dill, or chives. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the soup, enhancing its visual appeal.
  2. Accompaniments: Serve creamy cabbage soup as a standalone dish or pair it with crusty bread, crackers, or a side salad for a more substantial meal. The soup also pairs well with grilled cheese sandwiches or a slice of hearty whole-grain bread.
  3. Drizzle with Olive Oil: For an extra touch of flavor and richness, drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over each serving of creamy cabbage soup just before serving. The oil adds a silky texture and enhances the overall taste of the soup.
  4. Serve in Bread Bowls: For a fun and creative presentation, hollow out small round bread loaves to create edible bowls. Ladle the creamy cabbage soup into the bread bowls and serve. This adds a rustic touch and makes for a memorable dining experience.
  5. Family-Style Serving: Place the pot of creamy cabbage soup on the table and allow guests to serve themselves family-style. Provide ladles and bowls along with optional garnishes for a casual and inviting mealtime experience.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Promptly: If you have leftover creamy cabbage soup, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the soup promptly to prevent bacterial growth. Use within 3-4 days.
  2. Reheat Gently: When reheating leftover creamy cabbage soup, do so gently over low to medium heat on the stovetop. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent scorching. Alternatively, reheat individual servings in the microwave.
  3. Avoid Freezing: While creamy cabbage soup can be frozen, the texture of the soup may change upon thawing, particularly due to the cream content. If freezing, allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. Use within 2-3 months for best quality.
  4. Adjust Consistency: If the soup thickens upon refrigeration, you can adjust the consistency by adding a splash of broth or water when reheating. Stir well to incorporate and achieve the desired thickness.
  5. Portion Control: Consider dividing leftover creamy cabbage soup into smaller portions before refrigerating or freezing. This allows for easier reheating of individual servings as needed, minimizing waste and ensuring freshness.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use different types of cabbage in this soup? Yes, you can use different varieties of cabbage, such as green cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage, depending on your preference. Each variety may impart slightly different flavors and textures to the soup, so feel free to experiment to find your favorite.
  2. Is it possible to make this soup vegan or dairy-free? Absolutely! To make creamy cabbage soup vegan or dairy-free, simply substitute the heavy cream or milk with a plant-based alternative such as coconut milk or almond milk. This will still provide creaminess without compromising on flavor.
  3. Can I add other vegetables to the soup? Certainly! Creamy cabbage soup is versatile, and you can add other vegetables to customize it to your liking. Common additions include potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, or spinach. Simply chop them into small pieces and add them during the cooking process.
  4. How do I adjust the consistency of the soup if it’s too thick or too thin? If the soup is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a bit of vegetable broth or water until you reach your desired consistency. Conversely, if the soup is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it uncovered for a few more minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
  5. Can I freeze creamy cabbage soup for later use? Yes, creamy cabbage soup can be frozen for future meals. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Leave some room for expansion, and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Conclusion:

Creamy cabbage soup is not only delicious and comforting but also incredibly nutritious. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it’s a wholesome choice for any meal. Whether you’re looking for a warming dish to enjoy on a cold day or a nutritious option to add to your weekly meal rotation, creamy cabbage soup fits the bill. Try making it at home with the simple recipe provided and savor the goodness of this delightful soup.