Sunday, March 16, 2014

Potato Cabbage Soup

Tom has been playing Celtic music most of the day, setting the tone for St. Patrick's Day.  One of his Irish co-workers makes a feast that rivals the best in Ireland, consisting of corned beef brisket, Irish Colcannon, and a host of other gastronomic delights.  

My venture into St. Patrick's Day cuisine is far less complicated and adventuresome, but I decided I wanted to make a cabbage soup of some kind that would not be too difficult to digest. The one that inspired me came from Real Simple.  The inclusion of potatoes in the soup made me hopeful that the cabbage would not cause too much digestive distress. Of course, I used coconut oil rather than olive oil and butter. 

I also added ground fennel, a known digestive aid.  I had fennel seeds in the spice cabinet as Tom frequently uses them in a variety of his Italian meat entrees, so I ground them in our electric spice grinder.

I wasn't familiar with Savoy cabbage, but was wowed by its brilliant, tightly dimpled leaves that formed the head. Tom looked at me quizzically as I exclaimed over the beauty of this humble vegetable, wondering at what inspires me.  As I tore off the outer leaves, I was impressed with the tenderness of the leaves in contrast to the typical red and green cabbages.  These obvious differences prompted me to take a quick look at one of the seed catalogs to find out more about Savoy cabbage where I discovered that it is a milder tasting than typical red or green cabbage. Seems like it is my Lucky Leprechaun Day! 

The garlic cloves are simply halved and added to the soup while cooking. Then as they are pureed with the rest of the soup, the flavor is imparted to the whole soup.  Yummy for those of us who like garlic!!

I garnished my bowl of soup with some shredded fresh dill.  I'm not sure I liked the taste of the dill with the fennel, so next time I will try something else. Any ideas?  Let me know if you try something that works well for you.  

Enjoy the Celtic music, food, and festivities!

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, shredded
3 - 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
dash of salt
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound Idaho/Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 dried bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
freshly ground black pepper

Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the cabbage, scallions, garlic, and dash of salt.  Cool until the cabbage is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, potatoes, bay leaves, and ground fennel.  Simmer, covered, until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 15 - 20 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves.

Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.  

Nutrition per serving:
 Servings per recipe: 4

Serving Size: 11/4 cup
Calories: 186
Total Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol:  0mg
Sodium: 592 mg
Total Carbs: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 7 g

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