Monday night is soup night at our house.
I usually make a huge pot that gives us enough leftovers for lunch through at least part of the week. Since I don’t typically buy “lunch food” like deli meat, we rely heavily on leftovers at noon.
Our soup usually consists of homemade broth or stock, some sort of starch or legume, a small amount of meat, and some sort of green.
Sometimes I plan ahead and have these things on hand, sometimes I have to scrounge and get creative with what we’ve got. This past Monday night’s offering was more towards the latter and it was an ominous head of cabbage in our fridge that provided the inspiration for this soup.
Cabbage isn’t a huge favorite of mine but we’re learning to like it because it can be a meal in and of itself or, as with the case of this one; used to stretch something a long way.
I started mine just after lunch and allowed it to simmer in the crockpot all afternoon. I was fortunate to receive a new crock pot for Christmas; the kind with a removable insert that is stove-top friendly. This allowed me to brown and saute the meat and vegetables, add the stock and bring it to a boil before plunking the insert back into the slow cooker to finish. Alternatively, this could just be prepared in a stock pot and allowed to cook over low heat for several hours.
We served this with a loaf of our homemade artisan bread on the side and a dallop of sour cream on top. It tastes lovely just out of the pot, but is even better the day after.
The amounts below are approximate but soup is very forgiving. Adjust accordingly to suit your needs and your taste, but I would wager that the following will provide at least 10 servings.
Cabbage Meatball Soup
For the meatballs:
1 # of ground beef
1t garlic powder
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
For the soup:
Oil for browning
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 c vermouth (optional)
1 quart of beef broth
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
1t – 1T of hot sauce (optional)
2 celery ribs chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes peeled, halved and cut into 2″ pieces
1 large head of green cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
2T tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
To make the meatballs combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Form into 1″ balls.
In a large pot, heat the oil of your choice, add the meatballs, brown on all sides and allow to cook through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion to the stock pot and saute until translucent. Sprinkle with the 1t of thyme, add the vermouth, and stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half.
Add the beef broth, tomatoes, hot sauce, celery, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. If necessary add more liquid so that the vegetables are completely covered. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for at least two hours or until the vegetables are cooked through. Add tomato paste to thicken and adjust seasoning to taste. Before serving add the meatballs and gently stir to incorporate.
Makes about 10-12 servings.
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This is my slow cooker! My mother has one and enjoyed it so much she got one for us for Christmas. The fact that the insert can be used on the stove or in the oven makes browning prior to cooking, or thickening after cooking much easier. I love it; and use it at least once a week.
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