We were given a large, beautifully fresh savoy cabbage in our veg box last week, and after seeing a recipe for sausage and cabbage soup here: http://icookforleftovers.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/italian-sausage-and-cabbage-soup/, we just had to give it a go. Cabbage soup, in my mind at least, acquired a bad name in the nineties, used as a faddy diet for people who don’t really like food. This cabbage soup, however, is something quite removed from the dreary, overboiled, pond-water like version that one of my old housemates used to love to torture herself with. Here’s my version, ever so slightly different from Kathy’s. I just love the flavour of fennel in Italian sausage, it gives subtle depth to this soup. The sausages I picked up from the butcher had a touch of chilli in them too, which worked really well. It was delicious – warming and comforting – exactly what we need for a never ending January!
2 Italian sausages
About 1/3 of a cabbage (we used savoy, but I think some good cavalo nero would be equally good)
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, drained
3 tsp. bouillon
1 tbsp. chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Parmesan, to serve
Sweat the onion and leek in the butter until softened. Add the garlic, bay and thyme, then remove the sausages from the casings and throw in the pot, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Cook on a low heat for about five minutes.
Shred the cabbage, and add to the pot, along with the beans, paprika, bouillon, and a good amount of cracked black pepper. Top up with hot water (I think I used about 700ml, I’m not sure) bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for thirty mins. Check for seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with parmesan.