A simple soup for all seasons needed most as we indulge
By M. Eileen Brown
Writing about a healthy soup during the holiday season seems, well, it seems a bit misguided, if not downright hopeless.
To put it in context, I just finished having a very spirited conversation with a co-worker about deep frying leftover stuffing. We spent at least five minutes marveling at such a genius concept, with a friendly debate about whether to top it with cranberry sauce or gravy. (I'm in the cranberry camp.)
Tis' the season for decadence, after all.
Still, there is a part of me that craves something a little more straightforward now and again -- if only to give my taste buds, not to mention my digestive system, a rest.
That's where this very simple, very easy recipe for cabbage soup comes in. Courtesy of my partner, Joe, you can make it in less than 20 minutes. The only thing this soup requires of you is constant tasting to adjust. (For instance, you may want to discard the sliced jalapenos when the soup reaches the level of heat you like.)
Also, feel free to add potatoes, chicken, sausage -- even tofu -- to make it your own. He generally adds the extras precooked to the soup just before it's done. Poaching a chicken breast or two and then using that broth is a possibility, as well.
Whatever you add, this soup is simple and straightforward, a perfect antidote to seasonal gluttony.
So even though I am not giving up chocolate, peppermint, eggnog, whipped cream, butter, alcohol -- or fried stuffing -- any time soon, I feel the need to slow my roll and eat something that is actually good for me. This soup does the trick.
Of course, I've also included the recipe for Deep Fried Dressing. How could I not?
• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's director of strategic marketing and innovation and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at soupalooza.com.
Joe's Cabbage Soup
1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced ¼-inch thin
4 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped
6 cups water, chicken or vegetable stock
A few thin slices of jalapeno
Juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a medium soup pot. Add garlic, carrots and cabbage, cook and stir for a minute. Add water or stock, jalapeno, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Keep tasting and remove the jalapeno when you reach the desired heat. Add lemon juice just before serving, as well as more salt and pepper as needed.
Deep Fried Stuffing
Oil for frying
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Cut leftover stuffing into bite-sized cubes and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Coat each stuffing bite with this egg wash, then dredge in the bread crumbs until fully coated and set aside. Once oil is at temperature, fry each piece of stuffing until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and serve with cranberry sauce or gravy.