Reverend Mojo's Daily Sermon


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Sunday, January 31, 2010     It's still soup season
(4:34 pm)

Every winter I go on a soup-making binge. This year has been more intense than usual. So far I've made potato leek soup with bacon twice, regular potato leek soup once, vegetable soup with beef twice, bean and ham soup three times, beef noodle once, tomato bisque once, chili three times, and I'm in the process right now of making cabbage soup with ground beef and kidney beans. Umm-um-um-um-ummm.

Here's a recipe of sorts:
Half a goodly-sized head of cabbage, three stalks of celery, double handful (more if you have small hands) of carrots.
Put in pot with water & salt.
In the meantime chop a small onion and saute with one pound of ground beef (sirloin or round -- use a little olive oil if needed).
Season meat with a dusting of thyme, a couple shakes of sage, some paprika.
Deglaze with worchestershire sauce.
Salt. Pepper.
Dump in pot with cabbage.
Open a can of petite diced tomatoes.
Dump in pot.
Three cans of Campbell's condensed beef broth or equivalent.
Dump in pot. More if needed.
Double handful of fresh parsley (or one handful of dried *shudder*).
Chop finely.
Dump in pot.
Drain and rinse one can of red kidney beans.
Dump in pot.
Season to taste with whatever sounds good.
A little rosemary, more paprika, caraway, marjoram, whatever.
Adjust seasoning and water level to taste.
If you want it a little more tomato-y, use tomato juice.
Cook until cabbage is very soft.
Simmer on low heat at least two hours.
Eat crackers to stave off drooling.
Serve with sliced French bread, buttered or not, toasted or not.
Sharp cheddar goes with nicely.

You can even put croutons on top of the bowl and top it with cheddar just like French onion soup if so inclined. I prefer mine plain with the cheddar and bread on the side.

Sound good? Alternately, if you want a vegetarian version, well, you'll have to figure that out for yourself. The beef broth is the main flavor component. If you want to have a whack at it, I'd suggest using a couple cups of cooked red lentils instead of the beef, saute them in olive oil with the onions, skip the thyme, and substitute black beans for the kidney beans. As for the broth, you could use a mixture of vegetable broth, V8, tomato juice. If you come up with a good vegan version, let me know and I'll spread the word.

In the interest of full disclosure, instead of the individual herbs & spices in the *season to taste* above, I generally use Debra Dawson's Glorious Goulash mixture. She owns The Goodthyme Herb Company in Mendicino, CA. If anyone wants I have her phone number. The ingredients listed on the label are: Paprika, caraway, marjoram, thyme, dried red chilis, dried lemon peel, and dill seed. She makes another great mixture called Beautiful Beans that is really good, too.

Whenever I tire of political commentary, polemicizing, sermonizing, or nagging, I'll put some other skeletal recipes for soups and other wonders up here for you edification.




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