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Cold Snap Cabbage Soup

February 10, 2013

The combination of a several-week-long cold snap and the recent blizzard Nemo has chilled me straight to the bone. A hearty quick veggie soup is the perfect way to warm up. I know it looks like there is no cheese in this soup, but there is: I tossed some Parmigiano Reggiano rinds (along with lemon peel and some sprigs of fresh parsley) to give my store-bought veggie stock lots of flavor while the soup cooked.

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I love kitchen-sink soups like this because I tossed in anything that has been sitting around in my house for too long, like the beans I added in at the end. Feel free to substitute in leftover cooked or uncooked pasta. (Add in cooked pasta right before you’re about to serve the soup, just to warm it up but not overcook. Add in uncooked pasta and cook to al dente, about 7 minutes before serving.) If you’re using long pasta like spaghetti, cut it up into bite-size pieces before you add it in for a slurp-free, work-appropriate soup.

Cook’s Note: Purple cabbage gives this soup its awesome coloring, but you can use any other kind of cabbage that’s available.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (about 3 quarts)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus some leaves to garnish
1 lemon, zest peeled with a vegetable peeler and juiced
1 small head purple or white cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
One 2- to 3-inch Parmegiano Reggiano rind
2 cups soaked and cooked white beans

Special equipment: kitchen twine

Heat the olive oil with the red pepper flakes in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add in the garlic and onions and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Using kitchen twine, tie the parsley and peeled lemon zest into a bundle, set aside for later use.

When the onions are cooked, add in the cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add in the carrots and celery and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Add in the parsley bundle, stock and cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Right before serving, stir in the cooked beans and lemon juice. Cook until the beans are just heated through. Remove and discard the parsley and cheese rind. Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve.DSC_0172

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