I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We went to my mom’s and spent a few days with her and all of my siblings (there are 5 of us). It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of food. After four days of eating nothing but pies, cookies, brownies, whipped cream, mac and cheese, stuffed shells, and of course, turkey with all the fixings, Marc and I were feeling a little like we had food hangovers. Arriving back home, we both felt the need to detox a little. For us, this means eating things like soup, fresh bread, and lots of vegetables.
Personally, I couldn’t stop thinking about cabbage soup. While that may seem like a strange thing to obsess about, I just knew that it was exactly what I needed to cure my food hangover. I went searching on the Internet to find myself a recipe. I started with one of my favorite food blogger sites, Smitten Kitchen. Indeed, there was a very interesting recipe for cabbage soup. Using that as my starting point, I found a few other recipes with interesting components that I incorporated.
The result is a hearty and delicious cabbage soup with tomato, celery, carrots, onion, and (obviously) cabbage. Beef and beef stock add meaty flavor while the inclusion of sauerkraut and some white wine vinegar add a pleasing tanginess. The vegetables are cooked but still retain some of their texture. While this soup takes a little while to make, it is really easy. Served with some crusty bread, it is the perfect meal for a wintery Sunday dinner… and an excellent way to rebound from the holiday gluttony.
Russian Cabbage Soup
4 cups beef stock
4 cups water
1 lb ground beef
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon marjoram
3 whole allspice berries
1 cup sauerkraut plus 2 tbls juice
1 medium potato, diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups fresh cabbage, thinly shredded (about half a large head of cabbage)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained (or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped)
2 tbls white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, bring stock and water to a boil. Add bay leaves, marjoram, and allspice. Break the ground beef into small pieces and add it to the pot. Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about one hour.
Remove the ground beef and set aside. Skim off most of the fat from the stock. Add the sauerkraut and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potato and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, and tomatoes (including the juice) and simmer for 20 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the sauerkraut juice, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with additional vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and/or sour cream as desired. Serves 6-8.