Despite the heat, I have been reluctant to let go of some of the principal comforts of winter, including soup and sleeping with a giant duvet. Cabbage soup typically gets a bad rap but I love the combination of hearty and healthy. This is a riff on another version I make often and it is so much more than the sum of its parts. Plus, the addition of celeriac (aka celery root) gives it something special since it is a lighter, less starchy root with a vague but yummy flavour of celery salt. This is a lovely, smoky soup that is very hearty but won’t weigh you down. Especially since you have all those springtime things to do while your bum print fades from the couch until winter comes round again…
By the way, JD ate three bowls in a row so you know this must pass muster. Alright, on to the directions:
First chop a couple of slice of smoked bacon. I use applewood smoked, 3 thick slices will do nicely.
Then grab yourself a small spicy chorizo (you may use mild if you prefer)
Chop your chorizo into coins, like so
And cook over medium-high heat, so that bacon starts to crisp and the chorizo starts to release its delicious red oil
Add your old friends onion and garlic
Now you can either slice a small cabbage, or half of a large one (so pretty)
Cabbage roughly sliced
Add to your pot and continue to cook on medium heat. It looks daunting at first, but I assure you that it will cook down
This is a celery root. It is ugly but delicious. I cut away the tops and sides and peel any leftover bits with a vegetable peeler.
Roughly chop your celery root into chunks
Add two or three fresh tomatoes, chopped
Add some tomato paste and about 4.5 cups of chicken broth, you want the cabbage to be nearly covered.
This is my trick for tomato paste: buy a large can, brush an ice cube tray with olive oil or spray with cooking spray, fill cubes with tomato paste, freeze, and pop out of tray and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Saves so much time and effort when you need to add tomato paste to a recipe.
So easy, no?
Once you’ve added your celery root, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until cabbage has shrunk significantly
Taste and adjust seasoning. At this point you may also need to add a little more water or stock, depending on how soupy you like it. I added pepper, a pinch of salt, some red pepper flakes. Spanish smoked paprika would also be delicious if you have it on hand. Let simmer another 10 minutes and serve.
Smoky Chorizo and Cabbage Soup
Serves 4 with leftovers
1 small hot chorizo sausage, sliced into coins
3-4 slices of bacon, preferably a smoked variety, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, core removed and sliced (or 1/2 a large)
4.5 cups chicken broth
1 small celery root (aka celeriac), peeled and chopped into chunks
2-3 Roma or vine tomatoes, chopped
2 TBSP tomato paste
Salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes, to taste
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon and chorizo until bacon starts to get crispy and chorizo releases its delicious red oil, about 5 minute. If you have more than 2 or 3 tbsp of fat in your pan, remove excess with a spoon.
Add sliced onion and minced garlic, lower heat to medium, and continue to cook while onion softens and garlic becomes aromatic, 5 minutes more.
Add sliced cabbage and stir gently to coat. While you prep the rest of your ingredients, stir cabbage periodically as it cooks down.
Add celery root, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth to the pot so that cabbage is nearly covered. Cover and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes until cabbage has greatly shrunk in size and is very soft.
Taste soup and adjust seasonings – you may need a pinch of salt, some pepper, and some hot pepper flakes. Allow to simmer 10 more minutes so that flavours combine.
Serve and enjoy
More to come!