On Sundays, I generally go to my mom’s house for dinner. When I was a kid, we used to buy this canned cabbage soup we all loved (Habitant brand, in case anyone is curious). Sadly, they stopped making it when I was a teenager. A few years ago, I decided I needed to reverse-engineer the recipe, because we loved it SO MUCH. This recipe is the result.
Every year, Mom has me make a big batch so that she can freeze it and enjoy it all year long. This year, we got a bit ambitious and did three whole cabbages. That yielded somewhere between fourteen and sixteen quarts of soup, which was insane and took ALL AFTERNOON. I’m not going to share those quantities with you here.
Now the most dangerous part of all this is shredding the cabbage. I tend to prep it the same way I would for coleslaw or sauerkraut. Take a sharp paring knife and cut out the core, using medium diagonal cuts all the way around the stem. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can cut out any extra bits of core after. Then place your cabbage on the cut end, and take a large knife (I prefer a santoku knife for stability, but you could also use a chef knife) and cut into quarters. Slice each quarter thinly, no more than 1/8″ thick. Prep your onions the same way. (although without the coring, obviously).
This soup is more about ratios than specific measurements – as long as you keep your 1 cabbage – 1 onion – 1 quart stock ratio relatively similar, you can scale this recipe up as high as your stock pot will let you. We had to dig out the big 20-quart pot this year for the three heads of cabbage 🙂 You can also add a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes to the mix if you prefer. I do this at home, but not when making the soup for my mom’s stockpile 😉 The seasonings are simple, but they work very well with this soup. Let me know if you try this recipe! I hope you enjoy it.
Simple Cabbage Soup
1 head green cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large white or sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp black pepper
1 quart beef stock (if using unsalted stock, add 1 tsp sea salt – OR use 1 heaping Tbsp Better than Bouillon, beef flavor, and 1 quart water)
Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions and cabbage, and sauté over low heat until browned and soft, approximately 10-12 minutes. Place in stock pot with remaining ingredients. If stock does not cover cabbage, add enough stock to cover all vegetables. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour. Serve, or freeze for later use. Serves 4-6.