Teevoz checking in after the first big snowstorm of the season in New York! I've always loved the snow. I'm a January baby, and I've long believed that we most love the season we were born in - maybe because it reminds us of birthdays, maybe because of some mystical astrological reason, maybe for no reason at all.
I have half a mind to go outside and build a snowman right now, but instead I think I'll share my tweaked version of my dear friend Faith's recipe for cabbage soup that is easy to make and delicious. You can take the extra time to shred your own green and red cabbage and carrots, or you can use a pre-shredded package which, honestly, is just as good and much easier.
Faith's Incredible Cabbage Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound stew beef cut into small pieces
1 pound coleslaw mix with shredded green/red cabbage & carrots
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
1 28 oz can of Muir Glen Fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes (or try their diced tomatoes with garlic and onions)
1 qt low-sodium beef or vegetable broth (or try half regular and half low-sodium)
3/4 cup water (approx.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup long-grain white rice
1. Heat oil in 6-quart pot over medium heat. Saute beef until browned, about 5-6 minutes. You should saute the beef in small batches so it browns rather than steams.
2. Add coleslaw mix (or shredded cabbage/carrots) and onion; cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring after about 2 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, broth, water, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil.
4. Add rice; reduce heat to medium low/low. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until the rice and beef are tender.
NOTE: You can substitute 1/3 cup tubettini or other small pasta for the rice if you like, but since it would need less cooking time than rice, let the cabbage-beef-liquid mixture simmer about 15 minutes before adding the pasta, and then continue cooking for about half an hour.
Add a salad, some crusty bread, and - as always - a nice glass of red wine, and you have a perfect warming dinner for a cold winter's night.
For those of you who'd like a meatless soup - check out Mark Bittman's wonderful How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food which has some great ideas for using cabbage in mouth-watering vegetarian soups and all manner of foods!