Sunday, May 15, 2011

White Bean, Cabbage, Carrot & Potato Soup

It's been a rainy weekend, so there was lots of opportunity to put my apron on and make a big batch of soup for my weekly "Sunday Stew Special".  I had a few potatoes left that were starting to go soft so I figured I'd better use them up.  This soup is a great budget friendly, good ol' classic recipe.  I've also been cooking with dried beans and lentils more and more and cutting back on our dependence upon meat for protein.  Plus, they're cheap, fill you up, have tons of fibre, and are SO GOOD for you!  I cooked up a big crockpot full of white beans earlier this week, so I had some ready to go for this soup.  I've learned it's better to cook the beans ahead of time, store them in the fridge or freezer, and then toss them into recipes as needed.

Anyway, here is what was on today's menu!

White Bean, Cabbage, Carrot and Potato Soup

2 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 head medium cabbage, cored and shredded
5 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups slow cooked (or 1 14 ounce can) cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups veggie or chicken stock (you can learn how to make them from scratch here and here.)
3/4 t. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
20 fennel seeds

Saute the onions, carrot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until softened -  about 5 minutes.

Toss all the veggies into the slow cooker except for the beans.
Pour the stock over all.
Season with salt and pepper, mix in the fennel seeds, cover and cook on low for 8 -10 hours.
Add beans and stir.
Serve with thick slices of whole grain bread.  This is a great bread dipping soup!

The fennel seeds are apparently supposed to help with the gassiness that can come with high fibre foods such as beans and cabbage.  I'll let you know how it goes.....

Results from the Brownlee Test Kitchen

10 year old - (when she came into the kitchen)  Mmmmm....something smells delicious!  (That was a positive sign!)  It's very potatoey.  I'd say it's a keeper.
13 year old - Does this have cabbage?  (When she was convinced by her 10 yr old sister that you couldn't even taste the cabbage she gave it a try).  It's not bad.  It's a typical potato soup.  Eh.  I guess it's a keeper.  (I was just happy to get some cabbage into my cabbage despising daughter.)
4 year old - More carrots please!  (Soup is one of the few foods I can get her eat more than a couple spoonfuls.)  I managed to convince her to try the white beans too.  She only ate a couple before stating I don't like those beans!  I'm accepting this one as a thumbs up from her though.
The Cook - This is tasty, filling, simple soup.  Good thing I enjoy it...I made so much that I've got a ton stored in the freezer.

As with all soups...use what you have!  Be creative with your herbs and spices.  Make a big batch, store it in small freezer containers and pull it out when you need a quick, healthy lunch or supper.  It's better than a box of instant Mac & Cheese!

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