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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Marcella's Cabbage Soup--the real recipe

Several readers say they want to make the soup, based on my haphazardly constructed recipe. A blogger named Wednesday Chef put Marcella's recipe up and I copied it (is this legal?). I generally use chicken broth. Apparently, Italian cooks are addicted to bouillon cubes, but it's really NOT the same. I also don't use expensive arborio. Truly a stone soup; I can't stop eating it.

I also use regular old white cabbage; it's hard to find Savoy in these parts.

Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup
Serves 2 if that's all you're having for dinner

Smothered Cabbage:

2 pounds Savoy cabbage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon wine vinegar

1. Detach and discard the first few outer leaves of the cabbage. Shred the remaining head of cabbage very fine, either with your food processor's shredding attachment or by hand. Be sure to remove the cabbage's inner core.

2. Put the onion and olive oil and a large saute pan and turn the heat to medium. Cook the onion, stirring, until it's softened and taken on some color. Then add the garlic. When the garlic has turned a pale gold, add the shredded cabbage. Turn the cabbage over 2 or 3 times to coat it well, and cook it until it has wilted.

3. Add salt, pepper, and the vinegar to the pan. Turn the cabbage over once, completely, then lower the heat to minimum and cover the pan tightly. Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until it is very tender, stirring from time to time. Add 2 tablespoons of water, if needed, during the cooking if the cabbage becomes too dry. When done, taste and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Allow it to settle a few minutes off heat before serving.


The smothered cabbage
3 cups homemade meat broth or 1 cup canned beef broth diluted with 2 cups of water or 1 1/2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups of water
2/3 cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the cabbage and broth into a soup pot, and turn on the heat to medium.

2. When the broth comes to a boil, add the rice. Cook, uncovered, adjusting the heat so that the soup bubbles at a slow but steady boil, stirring from time to time until the rice is done. It must be tender, but firm to the bite, and should take around 20 minutes. If while the rice is cooking, you find the soup becoming too thick dilute it with a ladleful of homemade broth or water. The soup should be on the dense-ish side when finished.

3. When the rice is done, before turning off the heat, stir in the butter and the grated cheese. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual plates and allow it to settle a few minutes before serving.


Logan Leger said...

It's legal unless the blogger specifically says you can't. You should also link back to the original article that you reprinted it from and wrap it in <blockquote> just to alleviate any confusion.

Chance said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. Sounds very yummy (and frugal). I think citing the source of the recipe is enough, unless the blogger specifically says you can't, but it is always nice to add the link, so that we can go check out the blog, and the cited blogger gets some traffic and maybe some new readers.

Duchesse said...

Thank you! his elevates a cabbage! Agree bouillon cubes will not provide the depth and unctuous flavour of real broth. The arborio and Parmesan (good Parm, not that grated wax in a box) will make it more costly but I think good food is worth it.

SLF said...

@Duchesse: I recently made a mushroom and artichoke heart pasta sauce that uses parmesan to help thicken the sauce but all my grandma had was the pre-grated kind. Rather than thicken the sauce it clumped up into weird little curds...there is no substitute for the real thing!

Frugal Scholar said...

Thanks Logan and Chance for the legal advice.

My links have not been linking...

@Duchesse--I can't say enough good things about this soup or about Marcella Hazan's recipes generally. So true about parmesan.

@SLF--You were really traumatized by that boxed cheese,

Anonymous said...

I have all the ingredients on hand. I'll try it this broth is from an Aldi smoked turkey. :)

Frugal Scholar said...

@Terri--Your broth sounds great! I've been doling out my Thanksgiving broth too. I used most of it for gumbo. Hope you like the soup.