Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peasant Style Italian Cabbage Soup

This is a simple Italian (or Tuscan to pe precise) soup made with mostly cabbages and cannellini beans.Now Tuscany is supposed to have many variety of greens and this soup is supposed to be made from cavalo (Italian for Cabbage) and even cavalo nero(black cabbage /black kale) or a combo.I have used normal cabbage here and made this dish based on Mario Batali's version here,obviously with changes.


Ingredients:

Cannellini Beans /White Beans(I used): 1/4 cup
Cabbage: 1 cup chopped /1 small head of cabbage

Carrot:1 small
Celery: 1 small stick
Onion:1 small
Garlic: 1 clove

Tomato Paste: 1 tbsp
Fresh Thyme : 2 sprigs (Dried also works) OR as per taste
Bayleaf(I used Dried): 1 small

Olive Oil:1-2 tsp
Salt
Pepper

Accompaniments(optional)
Bruschetta/Toasted Bread
Parmesan Cheese

Preparation:

Pre -soak and cook the white beans in the pressure cooker adding little more water than necessary.Chop the cabbage thinly as possible.Chop the carrot and celery into bite sized pieces.Chop onions thinly and crush/mince the garlic.

Heat Olive oil in a thick bottomed pan/soup pot and add the chopped onion,carrot,celery and garlic and saute until fragrant.This is a soup made with cabbage and beans and the rest of the veggies have lesser role here.In some version I have referenced,there are no veggies at all,but little veg broth is added.I have added little of the veggies and avoided the broth, as this make the soup look more colourful and healthy.Broth also adds flavour,but if added should be minimised as cabbage is the hero here.

Once the onion and carrot and celery start to become tender,add chopped cabbage,little salt and pepper and saute until cabbage starts to cook.This will take aroun 5 minutes.Add thyme(dried/fresh) and bayleaf and tomato paste and stir well so that the tomato paste blends with the soup.Add the beans along with the cooked water and more water if needed and cook for 10-15 minutes till the veggies are completely cooked and the liquid reduces to 3/4th or even 1/2.

Serve with bruschetta/toasted bread/choice of accompaniments ,sprinkling little parmesan cheese on top.

The soup looks very light,but is very filling as it has bean and veggies,but if you like a thick cremy texture,mash half of the beans before adding to the veggie mixture.Thyme sprigs can be added as such or remove the thyme leaves/needles and then add to the soup.If whole thyme or bayleaf is used it is better to remove these before serving.I added thyme needles and whole bayleaf.I served it as such without any accompaniments or Cheese.

This nourishing soup is going to Kim,the Nourishing Gourmet for the Nourishing Soup and Stew Carnival A warm bowl of cabbage soup is travelling to Simona where she is celebrating the Fresh Produce of the Month:Cabbage a event started by Martha,a lovely Italian in US. Since the soup has a lovely legume,white beans it is a warm bowl is also going to Srivalli for the Legume Love Affair-7th Helping, an event started by Susan,the Well Seasoned Cook .

Update:Hearty Thanks to Cham for reminding me.The completely vegan soup (I did not sprinkle cheese) also goes to Vaishali's Its a Vegan World where the current theme is Italian.

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