Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Grandpa's Soup...

One year when Limerick and I were visiting with my Grandparents in Tennessee, Grandpa taught us how to make his cabbage soup. The soup was simple. He threw chopped cabbage, carrots, onion, and potatoes into a pot of water. He added a drizzle of oil and some salt and pepper and let it simmer. I'm fairly certain he threw in okra, but not as positive about tomatoes. The veggies flavored the water and by the time the potatoes were falling apart, it was a good tasting pot of soup.

One time Limerick made the soup when his Dad and Step-Mom were visiting. They didn't say so until years later, but they were surprised by a soup that used water as the broth. Over the years as we made it, the recipe changed. We usually skipped the okra, because it isn't an ingredient I generally have on hand. We always use canned tomatoes and the juice they were canned in. And we got into the habit of adding soup base, or canned broth. Still, despite adaptations, I often think of Grandpa's simple pot of vegetable soup.

I made some cabbage soup today, but for the first time made homemade vegetable stock to throw the ingredients into. I started with a basic recipe for Winter Vegetable Stock, which included a small quantity of lentils in addition to the usual celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and some root vegetables. I was missing a lot of the ingredients called for, and just used what I had on hand. The result, after straining the stock ingredients and adding some extra oregano, cracked black pepper, and a good splash of hot sauce was a very tasty broth.

The pantry is a little bare this week and I didn't have any canned broth on hand. As a result, I fed my family something better, fresher, more full of vitamins and minerals than a canned stock would have had. Still, in retrospect, the best of cabbage soup I ever had was probably that first one that Grandpa cooked for us in plain water, with a drizzle of oil, and little salt and pepper.

photo by Aisling, February 2007


Louise said...

I make cabbage soup often since it is a great soup for diabetics. And the best part is you can just toss in whatever you have on hand. I just joined ThriftyHomemakers and found your link to your blog. I love reading blogs so have added yours to my list of daily reads.
Louise from Alberta, Canada

Aisling said...

Louise, I'm (mildly) diabetic too. What is it about cabbage soup that makes it so beneficial for diabetics? I'll have to look that up! I love that "throw in what you have on hand" factor too. Don't want anything to go to waste. Thanks for coming by to read my blog!