Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Minor Cabbage Soup Experiment

Because I had lots of leftover cabbage from some slaw I made for a family Easter meal, I decided to make my cabbage soup recipe again. I used the same recipe as for the soup I made for Christmas, except this time I used chicken bouillon instead of homemade stock. In addition, I had both red cabbage and green cabbage left over from my slaw recipe (will discuss it on request), so I used both kinds of cabbage. The red cabbage changed the recipe significantly. Not only did it make the soup a rather odd shade of muddy brown, it gave the soup an earthier flavor.

My husband Eric liked the soup well enough, but found it somewhat unsatisfying because of the lack of meat. So I decided to cut up some leftover chorizo and add some to each bowl. The first time I tried this, I overheated the sausage in the microwave almost to the point where it was crunchy. The effect was marvelous. The hit of fat and meatiness from the sausage bits nicely complements the earthiness of the cabbage. Eric and I really enjoyed it (he pronounced this modification "husband approved"). Consequently, I bought some more chorizo to add to the current batch of soup as we eat it.

I am also considering mixing sausage into the next batch of cabbage soup I make, right after the simmering is done. Chorizo is a bit expensive for that purpose, but perhaps kielbasa will work. I think a pork sausage would work best, but if anyone has any other recommendations, I'd be very curious to hear them.


  1. A slice of pre-cooked ham, gut into chunks, goes well in something like that. But best results are obtained by letting it simmer in the soup a while, rather than trying to make it crunchy and adding it as an embellishment.

    Smoked pork neck bones are also good additions, though once again you add them when you start the soup to give them time to get acquainted, and remove the actual bones before serving the soup.

    1. Hi, Dennis! Thanks for visiting.

      I could certainly add sausage/ham/pork whatever while cooking the soup. I'm not a fan of picking through soup to remove the bones (though removing ham bones would be much less finicky than what I went through removing the bones from my rabbit stew), and simmering pork parts in the soup will likely change the soup's texture somewhat. One could argue that making the mixture both meatier and less thick would be a good thing. (Eric refers to the product of the current recipe as "Filboid Studge", and I agree.)

      Another point is that ham and sausage have very different flavor qualities, and I think I like the smoked quality of cooked sausage rather better than I'd like ham for this particular soup. That's probably the main reason why I'm likely to stick with sausage, most of the time when I make this soup. Still, you've made a good point. I should try simmering ham parts in this recipe--I think I have some in the freezer--and taste test the results.

      Finally, leaving the basic soup as it is and adding "aftermarket" sausage bits (so to speak) make it easier to accommodate vegetarians or meat eaters who don't like pork. I note this as just an additional option, since it's not an issue for Eric and me; we both enjoy pork products.