Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cabbage Soup with Home-Made Broth

There are a lot of steps to this recipe because you are making your own broth from scratch.  It’s not difficult, but plan on starting this one early in the day if you want to have it with dinner, or make it the day before.  Also, I don’t recommend substituting dried herbs for the fresh ones listed here.  The fresh herbs just give a much better flavor. Dried can be overpowering.  Be sure to use fresh. We usually put the whole stem of the herbs in and strain them out at the end.This is a great soup for dieting, too!  Very low-calorie.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (and Bay Leaf and Marjoram, too!)

 Ingredients for Broth
4-5 lbs. chicken backs or wings
3 quarts water
1 medium onion, peeled & cut in half
6 whole cloves
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 large stalk of celery, peeled & cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in half
3 sprigs fresh marjoram
4 sprigs fresh parsley
3 bay leaf
10 fresh sage leaves
1 small sprig of rosemary
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp. salt

Directions for Broth
·         Place the water in a large Dutch oven
·         Push 3 whole cloves down into each onion half
The onion halves with inserted whole cloves, black peppercorns, carrots & celery
 ·         Add the chicken, the onion with cloves, and all the other ingredients into the water and bring to boil, stirring occasionally
·         After boiling about 3 minutes, pull out the rosemary and discard (it’s strong, don’t leave it in too long)
·         Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking (DO NOT STIR)
·         After cooking for 5 minutes without stirring, use a slotted spoon to remove the “scum” layer that will form on top of the broth and discard
·         Reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook about 2 hours, stirring occasionally
·         Remove from heat (leave covered) and let cool 15-20 minutes
·         Remove larger pieces of chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside for later use in soup
·         Pour the remaining broth through cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl or pot (be sure to save the chunks of carrots and celery to put back into the soup)
Filtering the broth into a bowl through a cheesecloth-lined strainer
·         Now pour the filtered broth through a fat separator to skim off excess fat (you will have to do this in several batches)
Straining off the excess fat with a fat-separator
·         Pour the filtered and de-fatted (is that a word?) into a clean Dutch oven
·         Taste at this point and season with salt & pepper to taste.  Also if it’s not strong enough for you, you may want to cook it down a bit more before proceeding.
·         Return to a medium-high heat and cook another 45 minutes or so
·         No you’re ready to start making the soup!   Don’t worry, you’re almost there!
Ingredients for Soup
Broth, carrots, celery from the above broth recipe (chop the veggies into smaller pieces)
Chicken from above broth recipe, de-boned and torn into smaller pieces
2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped (sometimes we substitute a sweet potato)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 – 14 ½ oz. can of diced tomatoes (use the kind with green chiles if you like it spicey!)
½ head of cabbage, chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

OMG, poor thing.  Don't worry, we're almost finished!
·         Add all ingredients to the broth and heat over medium-low to a simmer
·         Simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally
·         Salt & pepper to taste  (we also add a touch of hot sauce, but you can leave that out if you prefer)
·         Serve hot.  Goes great with a loaf of homemade bread!
Nothing like a bowl of hot home-made soup! 

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