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cabbage soup

March 21, 2011

Today is the kind of day that is perfect for making soup — grey, overcast, slightly damp, and slightly chilly.

I’d like to follow that with: …so I stayed at home, put on a cozy sweater, and whipped up a big pot of creamy, delicious soup.


I’m too  busy for that today.  Instead, a short blog entry about a delicious, creamy soup I made a while ago will have to do (see, I have a lot to catch up on!).

I haven’t made a lot of soups, but after making this one from a recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine, I think I’d like to keep at it.  This one is a take on the classic potato leek soup, but adds cabbage and a light lemon-zesty cream topping.  It’s kind of perfect for winter because it has the heartiness of a cream soup (yet uses no cream in the actual soup!), which is what you want on a cold day, but the lemon topping and the green of the cabbage makes it feel like spring is coming.  It was even better the next day when we had leftovers for lunch.

cabbage soup

Adapted from Bon Appetit. Recipe can be found here.


1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh

1-2 large pinches of lemon zest (I’m obsessed with lemon zest, so you might want to go with 1 to taste)

1/2 medium head of green cabbage, chopped

4 medium leeks (white and light green part only), chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

Rind from Parmesan cheese, roughly the size of a silver dollar

1 bay leaf

6 cups of chicken broth

butter for cooking

olive oil for cooking


First make the topping: mix together the sour cream, lemon juice, and zest.  If you don’t think you’ll eat all the soup right away, just make enough to dollop on however many bowls you want — for G and I, this recipe made enough for 4 large bowls of soup.  Cover the topping with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you’re cooking the soup.

In a soup pot, melt a pat of butter and some olive oil on medium to high heat.  When butter is hot, add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the cabbage is soft.  It’s done when it starts to slightly brown on the edges.  When it’s done, remove about a cup to save for garnish later.

Peel and lightly smash the garlic cloves. Add them, along with another pat of butter and the leeks to the pot.  Cook until the leeks are slightly soft.  Add the potatoes, Parm rind, bay leaf, and the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Once it’s come to a boil turn dow the heat and simmer covered for about 25 minutes.

Turn off the heat, get out a blender, take out the Parm rind and bay leaf.  Pour some soup into the blender, puree, and then pour it into a large bowl (big enough to hold all the soup).  Do this in stages (you’ll have to, unless you have super blender) until it’s all pureed, then pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot and reheat and season to taste.

Now it’s ready to go!  Serve in bowls with the cabbage garnish, a dollop of the lemon cream, and a crack of fresh pepper.

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