There is a farm just down the road from where I used to live that has a winter CSA. They provide a weekly basket of winter storage vegetables — cabbage, carrots, turnips, beets, celeriac, potatoes, yams, onions, garlic — making year-round local eating easy even in this cold and snowy land. Unfortunately, I now live too far away to make a weekly pick up convenient, but last week I was in the area for other reasons, so I dropped by the farm stand and loaded up my shopping bags. Then I came home and turned some of my loot into one of my favorite winter standbys – cabbage and roots soup.
It’s a simple concept. Just throw some cabbage into a large pot with whatever root vegetables you have on hand, add a large can of tomatoes, broth, and water, and cook until done. Or, follow this recipe:
Cabbage and Roots Soup
1 T olive oil
I medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large (28 0z) can tomatoes
1 small cabbage (or ½ large), sliced
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 cups root vegetables, peeled as needed and sliced or cubed
1 T fennel seed or caraway seed
salt to taste
4 cups or more of water
Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot. Sauté the garlic and onions until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, the rest of the vegetables, and seeds. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes. Add more water as necessary while cooking. Serves 6-8.
Good vegetables to use (any combination): carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, celeriac
Variation: Substitute a small or medium yam for one or both of the potatoes.
Use the vegetable peels and the core of the cabbage to make vegetable broth. Throw them all in a pot, cover with a quart of water and simmer for about 30 minutes (or longer if you wish, though you may have to add more water). Freeze it, then you will have homemade vegetable broth ready for your next batch of soup.