As the temperatures fall faster than a bitcoin, I start seeking warm, comforting food. Nothing spells comfort like a rich, thick stew, and nothing spells high cholesterol like too many meals with too much red meat. As such, I’ll endeavor to make my next meal more vegetable-centric.
Browsing the local farm market, I find a magnificent selection of cabbages, beets, and the like. However, whilst my mind goes directly to Borcht, my fore-brain says “Puck Futin,” so perhaps something a bit more western, like Kapusnyak. So whilst the legendary Ukrainian cabbage soup is made with sauerkraut, I’ll go a little lighter and use one of the fresh cabbages.
I also like a bit of a bite in this, so I will include some of the Cajun spice mix from my “Drop All the Packets” post; once the stew is done, I’ll side this with some of the pickled peppers and flavored vinegar from “Pickled Bird’s Eye Peppers,” the tang of the vinegar will brighten the stew.
Cabbage soup may refer to any of the variety of soups based on various cabbages, or on sauerkraut and known under different names in national cuisines. Often it is a vegetable soup. It may be prepared with different ingredients. Vegetarian cabbage soup may use mushroom stock. Another variety is using a fish stock. Traditional cabbage soup is prepared using a pork stock.
Drained and chopped sauerkraut is cooked in water with chopped pork, pieces of kielbasa and a bit of salt until the meat is almost tender. Instead of meat, a ready broth is also used. Afterwards, diced potatoes and carrots are added and boiled until they are cooked. Tomato paste and spices may be added. In some regions the soup is served with added flour and butter. A lean kapusniak is cooked with roots and fungi.
Kapuśniak is served hot, in some regions with sour cream and sprinkled with chopped parsley and dill.
And yes, once again, I have taken a dish of cultural significance, pulled it into a dark alley, and pummelled it for all its secrets. We will have to ascribe this to another case of Cultural-Misappropriation.
- 3 slices Bacon Thick Cut, chopped to 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 ea Yellow Onion Peeled, chopped fine
- 2 ea Carrots Peeled, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic Peeled, minced
- 1 lb Italian Sausage Sweet, decased, crumpled
- 2 tsp Cajun Spice From Drop the Packets (https://www.roguechef.com/?p=3239)
- 1 tsp Salt Kosher
- 32 oz Chicken Stock Good stuff, make your own
- 1 ea Cabbage Large, sliced thinly, minus outer leaves and core.
- 1/2 Link Smoked Kielbasa Sliced to thin coins
- Place the bacon in a large stockpot and heat over medium-high
- Cook until bacon renders and begins to take color, about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables have softened but are still al dente, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Move the veggies to one side and add the sausages and cajun spice.
- Allow meat to brown on one side for 2 minutes, flip it and continue cooking for 1 minute more.
- Add the bone broth and cover, and bring the soup to a full boil.
- Add the cabbage and replace the cover. Cook for 40 minutes, occasionally stirring until the cabbage has cooked down.
- Taste, Season, and balance flavor.
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