Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beet and Red Cabbage Soup

Four heads of red cabbage, two heads of savoy cabbage, a pile of beets, a bucketful of carrots and parsnips, leeks, onions .....all waiting for me to make into soup and freeze.  In the midst of winter, I will be glad to take these savory delights out of the freezer. 

Red cabbage just planted in the garden last spring

When I was looking for photos to post for this soup, I found myself dreamily cherishing the photos of the red cabbage plants when Tom had just planted them early last spring.  Now as I look outdoors, not only are the garden bins empty, they are being covered with snow as it softly falls. 

Red cabbage, white and orange carrots and beets from the garden

I have heard of borscht, which is a soup made from beets and usually green cabbage. But I have far more red cabbage than green. (But why is it called red cabbage when it is really purple??) So....reinvention in the making.  Do you make borscht? Vegetarian borscht?  Pureed vegetarian borscht?  Either do I, but I wanted to try it. 

But I decided in the end that what I made is really not borscht, just a beet and red cabbage soup. I created it from a mixture of recipes I had seen on-line.  When it was finished, I thought it needed a bit more acidic taste, so added some liquid from a jar of capers. I got this idea from one recipe that used a garnish of capers, but I thought that would look ugly and wouldn't be easily digested either, so I just added some liquid from the jar of capers.  I liked that.   The nutritional analysis is for this version. The addition of a bit of soft goat cheese as a garnish also gave it a nice tangy flavor.  

Beet and Red Cabbage soup with goat cheese

For another portion of the soup, I put fresh dill in it and garnished it with a dollop of strained goat yogurt and a fresh dill sprig.  For both versions, I ate it with teff muffins that I made that were yummy, gluten and dairy free, as well as very soft.  The recipe is found at Gluten Free Shortcuts. I used almond milk rather than the coconut milk plus water suggested in that recipe.   

But now...for the soup. Pzazz for sure! 

Beet and Red Cabbage Soup with Goat Yogurt and Dill sprig

Red cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beets, shallots and garlic
    2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    1/2 Tablespoon chopped shallot
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 lb. peeled beets, cut into 1/2" dice (about 2 cups)
    1/2 cup chopped carrot
      1/2 of a Yukon Gold potato,peeled and cubed
          1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
          3 cups vegetable broth 
          (I used Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable broth)
          1/2 tsp sea salt
          1/2 cup water
          one small bay leaf
          dash black pepper
          1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
          3/4 teaspoon honey
          1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
          About 1 tsp capers liquid 

Peeled raw beets

Diced beets
Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add the beets, potatoes, carrots, and caraway seeds. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. 

Sauteing shallots, garlic, beets, potatoes, carrots and caraway seed

Stir in the vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper; lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender - about 30-40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. 

Cabbage added to the broth and seasoning

Add the honey and vinegar, and cook about 5 minutes more. Add the caper liquid.  Puree and thin if necessary with more broth or water. Serve warm, or chill.  Another potential garnish is goat cheese with scallions.

I gave one head of red cabbage to our son, Caleb, so I'm thinking how I will use the other two heads I have left in the fridge.  Any ideas?  

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: Small 1 cup
Calories: 76
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 424 mg
Total Carbs: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 2 g