I love cabbage-anything, and on a cold night, nothing is better than soup with cabbage in it. This is a vegetarian version, and a little sweet and sour, which is just the way I like it. Not quite like my grandmother used to make, but close enough to be comforting, and delicious.
Cabbage soup (from the NY Times)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup minced or grated onion
1 cup peeled thinly sliced carrots
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 pounds cabbage (tough outer leaves, core, and ribs removed), sliced into 1/4″ wide ribbons
1/2 cup golden raisins
fresh ground black pepper
soy sour cream, optional
In a 6-quart pot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cover and cook until garlic is tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and saute until translucent. Add 3 cups water, carrots, tomatoes and puree, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar, and bay leaf. Simmer at a lively bubble for 10 minutes, then crush whole tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Continue to simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Using an immersion blender, process mixture until it is coarse, not pureed. Add lemon juice, cabbage ribbons, and 3 cups water to pot. Place over medium-high heat and cook at a lively simmer until cabbage is cooked to taste, from al dente to meltingly soft, 1 – 2 hours. Add 3 – 6 cups water, to thin to desired consistency. Ten minutes before serving, stir in raisins and a few twists of black pepper. If desiered, garnish each serving with a dollop of soy sour cream. Makes 8 – 12 servings.