Feb 10, 2014

Spicy Cabbage Soup

First post in a long while, sorry about that. I've discovered it's harder to justify cooking new fancy stuff when it's only for me. I've been trying to get back on the experiment train, but haven't quite made it there yet.

It's cold out. Cold and wet. Recently I've been feeling a bit sluggish and behind in everything, I needed to clean myself up. As I'm sure you all know I've got a penchant for rich delicious foods, regardless of calories or fat. I fall back on this soup every time I know I need to clean up my diet to feel good again. It is a truly clean and delicious soup. I can eat huge portions of it, and not feel guilty, thereby making myself feel better about needing to eat the larger amount. This soup is so full of veggies I feel good about eating it, and it helps kick my digestive system back into gear. I like mine spicy, but you can choose to tone it down. Some would say this is bland, but I find it to be the perfect mixture of veggie flavors and tomatoey goodness. Check it out, and tell me what you think!

4 Medium sized carrots, chopped
2 Large Onions, finely chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers, finely chopped
8 Stalks Celery, chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, Crushed and finely chopped
2 Small Yellow Squash, finely chopped
1/2 Sweet Potato, finely chopped
1 Head Cabbage, Shredded
1 bunch Kale, Torn into small pieces
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 16 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes (include the juice)
1 qt tomato juice (V8 works great)
1 box o stock you can use chicken or beef
1-4 Cups water (amount will vary)
1 tsp Cumin
1-2 tsp Oregano
1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a large stock pot on medium. Add in the onion and carrot and saute until slightly softened. Add the rest of the vegetables except for the garlic, cabbage and kale. Saute just a few minutes until slightly softened, I like the veggies to still have a bit of body to them, if you want them cooked longer, go for it. Add in your garlic, I add this on its own so I know there won't be any burning. I add the garlic last so that I know it won't burn. Burnt garlic is the worst. Add in your tomato paste, stir until it's melted in. Add your spices leave out the salt right now. You can really add whatever spice you would like here. I enjoy the oregano and cumin combo. I do love the smokey flavor of cumin. The more Crushed Red Pepper you add the spicier the soup! Be careful! It intensifies as it cooks. Once your spices have been well incorporated add in your tomatoes and their juices. Now add in all your liquids except for the water. Bring to a slow boil. Taste!!! This is where you add your salt, be careful a little bit goes a long way in this particular soup. Add in your cabbage and kale, now, squish it all down into the soup as much as you can. Add enough water to just cover the cabbage. Simmer on low for about half an hour.
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Chopped Veggies
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Onion and Carrot
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The rest of the veg.
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Look at the gorgeous color of the tomato paste against the vegetables. Positively poetic.
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Add the tomatoes.
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Cabbage and Kale into the pot!
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Covered in liquids
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All done! Enjoy!

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