I love when Mr Minx makes soup for dinner, particularly in the Winter, so I gave him three soup cookbooks for Christmas. The other day, I went through them and marked the recipes that I thought would be both flavorful and quick to prepare. The red cabbage soup in 500 Soups: The Only Soup Compendium You'll Ever Need seemed like it fit the bill perfectly.
Boy, howdy it was good. I think the best part of it is that it tasted very close to my beloved Grandmother's barszcz (borcht). The clove and nutmeg was reminiscent of the spice of bay leaves and peppercorns, and the hint of sweet brown sugar on the cabbage mimicked the sweet earthiness of beets. Both soups have vinegar as well. All I needed was a dollop of sour cream to complete the illusion.
With slices of warm, freshly-baked bread, it was a perfect supper on a chilly evening.
Of course the Mr did tinker with the recipe a little bit.
Red Cabbage Soup, adapted from 500 Soups
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into strips
1 small head of red cabbage, about 4 cups shredded
1 cup chopped onion
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
5 cups chicken stock
salt and ground black pepper
Saute the bacon and onion in the olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more vinegar if you want (I added a splash of red wine vinegar to my bowl). Serves 4.