In the northern climes, every cook knows that the best local produce during the winter months is likely to be a relative of the cabbage. What would we do without the so-called crucifers -- broccoli, chard, cauliflower, turnips, mustard greens, etc. -- when we're putting together a satisfying winter stew?
I've probably invented hundreds of recipes over the years that make delicious use of cruciferous vegatables. Even if they didn't contain indoles, super-nutritious sulphuric compounds that have a wide range of health-protective benefits, I would still enjoy their taste and texture. Besides, they're just plain beautiful. Here are broccoli and red cabbage, snuggling up with just a few of their compatible food friends.
Think what a soup these would make, all mixed up together with veggie stock, curry spices, and canned tomatoes. Something like this cauliflower version I made a few nights ago.
Now, just in case you're inspired to do a little cabbage cooking in your own kitchen, here's a recipe from my book-in-progress, Longevity Cuisine: Vegetarian Cooking for Vibrant Health at any Age.
Blessings and bon appetit!
BEET AND CABBAGE SOUP WITH KIDNEY BEANS
Yield: 6 main-dish servings
This soup is borscht-like, but not at all traditional. I added the beans to boost the fiber and portein content. Handling raw beets will dye your skin a lovely shade of pink for a few hours. To avoid this, wear surgical gloves, which I consider to be essential kitchen tools, especially for handling fresh hot chiles. They're available in hardware stores and well-stocked cookware shops. For a vegan version of this soup, just omit the creamy topping. Rye toast or crackers make the perfect accompaniment.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
4 cups diced green or red cabbage
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
2 large red beets, peeled and diced
1.5 cups diced fresh or canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons mild paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of black pepper
1.5 cups cooked kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoons lowfat sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature (optional)
Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat and saute the onion, carrot, and caraway seeds for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 6 cups of water and the cabbage, potato, beets, tomatoes, dried dill (if using), paprika, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the beans and cook until the beets are quite tender, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Stir in the vinegar and honey, along with the fresh dill (if using). Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt. Serve hot and enjoy.