OK, enough procrastinating. It's really about time I tell you about this cabbage soup.
These photos have been hanging out in my Flickr photostream for days, just waiting to be shared but instead, merely stared at blankly for a few minutes before I put off writing about them for another day. Meanwhile, I've been ordering Chinese food and lazing around the apartment wearing my pumpkin pajama pants (hello, it's October already!) and watching DVDs of "Six Feet Under" with a certain fiance and fat cat while rain beats against the windows.
Oh, and there was a celebratory tapas dinner at Meson Sabika, where Murdo and I shared a pitcher of sangria to accompany the grilled calamari, chorizo and blood sausage, scallops, shrimp, salmon, and other tapas I can't remember but who cares because I put in my two weeks at work on Friday and start my new copywriting job on October 19! Yes, life is good right now, and I just didn't feel like writing about cabbage soup.
Not that I didn't love this cabbage soup, or that it wasn't exciting or worth telling you about. But, c'mon, it's cabbage soup. The craving for this stuff came out of nowhere. A quick Google search and I found a recipe for not just any cabbage soup, but stuffed cabbage soup with ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and rice. It couldn't get much simpler or more comforting than that.
But of course, as is the case with many new recipes I find, I had to make sure that Murdo would like it, too. When I told him what I was making, he immediately declared that he wasn't thrilled about it, which meant that he'd try it to make me happy but probably wouldn't eat much of it. I knew that getting him to like it was all in the seasonings.
So the recipe below is very, very loose when it comes to the seasonings, because I basically just threw in everything in my spice rack. Tabasco sauce, seasoned salt, a bay leaf, garlic flakes, Cajun seasoning, paprika, crushed reds...and then I tasted and adjusted as necessary. Which is what you should do, too, because this soup has the potential to be very bland if not seasoned exactly to your tastes.
Oh, and Murdo loved it. That's another point for me!
Stuffed Cabbage Soup (adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef (can use ground turkey or ground pork if you want)
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 small onion, diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 small head of cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded
2 handfuls of chopped fresh spinach
cooked white rice
Seasonings (I added a dash or three of each of these. They're all optional, and in the end, the dish had a slightly spicy kick to it. If you don't want spicy, by all means, omit the Tabasco and crushed reds. I went kind of crazy, but it tasted good, and that's all that matters. Season to your tastes.)
2-3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 bay leaf
crushed red pepper
Tony Chachere's Original Creole seasoning
salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, break up and brown the ground meat in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bay leaf, seasoned salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and onions and sauté until onions are soft.
Add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add cabbage, cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until cabbage is desired tenderness. Season like crazy, to taste. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Serve with a small scoop of steaming white rice.