Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cabbage, White Bean & Potato Stoup

Love is when someone offers to scrape the ice from your windshield so you don't have to stand in the wind (even when he didn't think to wear a jacket).

Sunday was definitely a cloudy, grey, rainy type of day that just begs for a hot cup of tea, a certain rat terrier, and maybe even a warm bowl of soup. Blustery winds and nonstop raindrops morphed into an April snowstorm overnight, leaving my poor, exposed car covered in a thick sheet of ice by Monday morning. With those limitations, this cabbage and white bean stew/soup (stoup?) sounded appropriate because crock pot cooking is exactly the kind of thing that makes sense at times like these. In other words, I'm feeling lazy and the thought of eating cold salad just isn't very motivating. 

Heavy on veggies and beans, this stoup is a comfort food that you can feel good about eating in large portions. All good stuff. Fuel. Plain and simple. (...even if all you are fueling is an Anchorman 2 watching party).

The original recipe (Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew) comes to you via Susan over at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen*. You may be wondering - why Irish soup? Well, to be honest, I actually found this recipe last month when all of the cool kids were whipping up things with reference to St. Patrick's day. Anyway, I took Susan's recipe, doubled the seasonings and added liquid smoke (at her suggestion - good choice). 

Cabbage, White Bean & Potato Stoup

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 4-8 hr (crock pot), 45 min (stovetop)
Serves 6-8

1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1 to 1-1/2 pounds potatoes, cut in large dice
1/3 cup pearled barley (optional or substitute with gluten-free grain)
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
salt to taste

Crock Pot:
1. Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker.
2. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed).
3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
4. Add beans, tomatoes, parsley, liquid smoke, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary.
5. Cover and cook for another hour.

1. Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot.
2. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.
4. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Calories 318, Total Fat 1.2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Protein 13.6 g, Fiber 16.4 g

J and I served this stoup topped with extra chopped parsley, Caesar salads and (just in case we were in danger of being a little TOO healthy) quick butter biscuits on the side (baked with herbed sweet cream butter). 

I imagine that my friends south of the Mason-Dixon are looking at this recipe thinking, 
"Yeah right! It's already 85 degrees on a cool day!" 
But for those of us less fortunate up here in the Midwest, there may still be a few days yet this spring where soup/stoup/stew is absolutely appropriate.

 If you have a favorite soup recipe, please share it in the comments! 

It took me over an hour to make the words curve like this. Seriously. Photo editing is NO JOKE and I can understand how some people make an entire living out of this process. Holy smokes.

Fat Free Vegan Kitchen is one of those food blogs that I turn to time and again, week after week when I'm planning meals and grocery trips. This site is one I've grown to trust for healthy (and micro-nutrient packed!!) meal ideas. The recipes at FFVK are obviously.. well, vegan. But the good stuff doesn't stop there. Susan's recipes generally follow the nutritarian lifestyle (i.e. Eat To Live). These meals contain very little (if any) added fat and main dishes are heavy handed on beans n' greens. This translates into happy, healthy, homeostasis. Word. 

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin