9.13.2014

I Swore I'd Never...

I am a man of contradictions. I make rules, and then I break them.

Rule one: when using a recipe, always make it the first time exactly as written, then make changes. Unless you are me; do as I say, not as I do.

I am also a man of strong convictions. There are many things I swear I won't do, until I do.

Like the other evening... I ate raw oysters. I swore I'd never do it... Then came that moment, when I said, "Okay, we'll have a half dozen Blue Points on the half shell..." and this post was born. Born of my elastic stubbornness. (Note: this post has nothing to do with oysters!)

I distinctly remember vowing that I would never own the following kitchen items: a microwave oven, a dishwasher, a food processor, a toaster oven, a "rabbit" wine opener, an immersion blender, or a KitchenAid mixer.

Ever true to myself - I still don't have a toaster oven. Everything else, however...

And that was just the kitchen list! Outside the kitchen, I now have a television, a VCR, a DVD player, a computer (!!!!) - all things that this former minimal æsthete averred he would never own.

I can assure you that I won't ever have Apple TV, stream movies, or own a BlueRay player. Never. Ever. Well, probably not. Maybe.

Since writing this post, we now have Apple TV and are streaming movies... No Blue Ray, though. Not this week.

I've also told you that once I swore I would never write a blog. (I am such a liar.)

Never say never. Unless you mean it at the moment. As for Mark, he has had a lifelong aversion to cabbage, swearing he’d never eat cabbage once grownup and on his own, and here we are, with this recipe. It is one of his favorites.

~ David

Cabbage Soup
This is a recipe that follows Rule No. 1. I have never changed the recipe from the way Aunt Rae made it. Not yet, anyway.


4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, bacon fat reserved

2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat or butter
1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup sliced carrots
1 bay dried leaf or 3 fresh
sour cream and parsley for garnish


Heat bacon fat (Aunt Rae always used bacon fat) or butter in a 4-quart stock pot, and sauté onion and celery until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix into a paste. Add broth a little at a time, stirring well. Add cabbage, carrots and bay, and bring to a boil Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with parsley. Crumble cooked bacon on top.


Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter.


Note: I made this batch of soup with some reserved bacon fat, and didn’t add any crumbled bacon to the finished soup. It was great!

48 comments:

  1. Haha it's great to acknowledge the fact that rules are meant to be broken and opinions are meant to change. Evolving and recognizing new needs and satisfying those needs is not a bad thing. I once said I would never have an iPhone and now I can't live without it. Oh well..
    I'm not a big fan of cabbage and to be honest, soup is the last thing on my mind right now as I'm still enjoying the summer and the temperatures that go with it but it looks promising David.
    xoxo

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    1. Haha - I didn't even mention my cell phone refusal - forgot about that! I wasn't going to have one of those, either, but am addicted to my iPhone, as well.

      Well, if you find yourself gifted with a cabbage on a cold dark day (which you will have...), try this soup - it really is very comforting. xo

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  2. This is a beautiful soup and I'm chuckling at your story! Have you ever played the game 'Never have I ever'? I guess I know what to ask you if we ever play :)

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    1. I have never even heard of that game, Ahu - we will definitely play next time! (By then I will have everything, I imagine.

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  3. Oh hooray, you are saving my "what to do with the second half of the CSA cabbage now...." and yes, I too swear that I will never X, Y or Z, then later, perhaps age mellows us, or we just think, "What if I never tried it, but I might love it?" and boom, here we are. Love you both!

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    1. Gaelen, I am beginning to learn never to say never, but I doubt it will happen. Yes, mellowing is part of it, and I am sure there is a part of it that can be chalked up to New England thrift!

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  4. You forgot cell phone...... soup looks delicious and as soon as I can turn off the air conditioner I will try it.

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    1. Jill - you need to see my response to Magda (first comment) - as soon as she mentioned her iPhone, I realized that "cell phone" should have been first on my list... Knowing you, I am pretty confident you will enjoy this soup. :)

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  5. We must have both been writing at the same time because there were no comments at all from you when I posted. Hmmm what gadget, electronics don't you have yet?? Will have to check with my husband David and see what you still have to have!!

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    1. Well.... real cable for starters, then there is no DVR, no Blue Ray player, no universal remote (not even an international one), no instant read thermometer (but I do covet your husband's one...)... and that is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

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  6. Hey, you're human, right? We all do it, but then life would be so boring if we were all so predictable!

    This cabbage soup is so very similar to my family's Italian Cabbage and Rice dish! If you take out the bacon, then add tomato puree before adding the broth and toss in a handful of rice...that's it! I'll have to try making your version, I'm sure I'd love it! But, let's just get rid of this heat first!! :(

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    1. And I will have to try your family's version Christina - it sounds wonderful. And, I think you all in the LA area are having the worst of the heat - it isn't even that hot here in the desert! I hope it breaks for you soon.

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  7. I smiled as I read your post…it sounds like you are a very flexible person, willing to make lots of changes. :D With temps in the 50's and 60's lately, your soup would be most welcomed.

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    1. Ah, Karen - I remember September in New England well! Every August 15th, Mark used to say, "First day of winter!" And somehow the hot weather stopped and we all started getting cold! I was specifically thinking of you and all my New England friends when I posted this.

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  8. Hi David! How are you my little rebel? Breaking all them rules :). Well, my hubby hated cabbage too, until I made him my Indian style cabbage with ground beef, his fave dish.
    Rules are meant to be broken and minds are meant to be changed! Cabbage soup looks and sounds wonderful. And you MUST get a Bluray...the picture is awesome but I'm an AV nut.

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    1. Glad you changed Trace's mind on the cabbage - have you ever shared that recipe on C&C? It sounds incredible. Yes, rules are meant to be broken and I am doing my best to continue. I imagine a Bluray (See - I didn't even know how to spell it right!) will be in my future when this DVD player dies... It was only last year that we went from a convention television to a flat screen!

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  9. Hi David, geez, I'm kind of the same way about things, my husband calls it my declaration making, which is always quickly changed. Love this soup, I bet it is delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Cheri! At least I know I am not alone.

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  10. I still remember saying the words "I'll never learn how to use a computer"

    Well, what can I say?

    And Bluray won't change your life, but it is pretty good!

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    1. John, the most embarrassing part is that Mark is the one who convinced me to try a computer, and now I am the one who is technology-addicted. Bluray will happen someday, I am sure...

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  11. Life is full of changes, right... sounds like you are embracing all these new things, and that's good, no? Love the recipe! Cabbage soup, huh.

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    1. The soup is really quite good, Liz - you should make some before it heats up there!

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  12. Haha I have one of those lists too, I never stick to my rules either :) Great recipe I love recipes that have been passed down through families.

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    1. I am a big fan of family recipes... but you have to come from the right family, right? I have a friend whose mother's recipes all call for cans of mushroom soup. :)

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  13. I think making rules and breaking them shows what smart person you are: only stupid, unreasonable people stay set in your way. People change, grow, evolve according to their experiences, to the people they meet, the things they read. If you are breaking rules it also shows you are a humble person, that you are willing to admit your shortcomings and willing to change. It shows flexibility and a desire to keep learning. Good for you! But in this case, I am glad you followed the recipe to a tee: it looks delicious!

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    1. That is a great way of looking at it, Fiona! Now, if only our politicians were able to do this! Glad you like the soup recipe!

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  14. Love this post! And those carrots...
    I just caved in recently and purchased an iPhone. Some days, I just wish life was simpler. Your soup sounds comforting, I'll have to try this once the weather cools. Though my grandmother used to tell us, drink warm liquids on warm days, to help the body stay cool. So maybe I should make this sooner, rather than later. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Cathleen! I kind of liked the carrots, too! Whenever we travel now, we wonder how we ever did it without the internet, email, iPhones and more. Somehow we managed and I think we were calmer for it! My mother (and I assume she got it from my grandmother) said the same thing about hot things on hot days. That is why I start my mornings with cocoa!

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  15. David, I love this post. I think we all have things we'd said we would never to, and then did (those of us who are human, anyway). ;-) I can see why Mark loves this soup -- I would too. I must try it. I'm guessing the bacon puts it over the top. Yum.

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    1. Valentina - we have a friend who asks, "What isn't made better by bacon?" I suppose there are a few things, but it really does work for this soup! Maybe when it cools down in LA, you can try it!

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  16. Hey we are coming your way and would love to visit. Should be Oct. 7 ish. Let me know how I can email directly or call. On our way to Mexico through Nogales. My email is ranchosolymar@gmail.com. XX Holly and Dan

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    1. It would be great to see you two, Holly! Sent you an email, and hope it works out!

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  17. Cabbage soup is a pleasure. A surprising pleasure I admit. Now about that food processor! WHAT? I was using a food processor before I could drive. GREG

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    1. Okay, I didn't actually say WHEN I swore off food processors... maybe I was 7.

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  18. My mom makes a DELICIOUS Russian borsht.
    Can't wait to try your aunt's cabbage soup this fall. xo

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    1. And when are you going to post on your mother's Russian borscht, Colette? :) xox

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  19. David, rules are there to be broken (at least every once in a while...) and as far as changing things or recipes is concerned, there are a lot of convictions that got changed or dropped along my path..but that´s another story and let´s not get side-tracked here - love comfort-style soup, but you know that, love cabbage, but you know that too an I do really like your recipe for this lovely old-fashioned soup (love old-fashioned too..).
    Wonderful post to read on a Saturday morning - euch beiden einen wunderschönen Samstag (die Sonne scheint hier),
    Andrea

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    1. Until I was out on my own, I never ate much cabbage. My aunt made this soup but, because my father hated cabbage, my mother never made anything with it. Now I eat it a lot!

      Have a wonderful weekend! Die Sonne scheint auch hier... Aber andererseits die Sonne scheint immer hier!

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  20. Hi, David!

    I think things are getting back to ""normal" around here...

    I missed reading your posts & this soup looks delicious. Now, if it would only cool down enough to make soup here.

    I love the humanity of your post. My mother keeps nagging me to upgrade my phone so she can text me - really? Why can't she just leave a message? Even though I'm married to an engineer, we don't have a high-definition TV, or the latest technological anything. I do have a Samsung tablet that I take with me when I travel, but considering our yacht charged for wi-fi, I hardly used it.

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    1. I missed you, too! But I know you had a wonder-filled time, and can't eat to see pictures.

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  21. Man, you just inspired me a lot, this kind of posting is amazing, especiallt the photograph....
    i swear that my homemade chinese sausage made this cabbage soup delicious even more...

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    1. Oh, you are so right! Chinese sausages would be perfect in this! I am definitely going to try it next time.

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  22. There is a chill in the air here that makes this soup so inviting! I like the idea of the chinese sausage, too! And, never say never is so true!

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    1. Yes - I love the idea of the sausage! And I promise never to say never again... oops... I did it again (with thanks to Ms. Spears.)

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  23. jaja, I love this post! Though I think the paragraph about kitchen appliances is almost a blasphemy... except for the microwave.. and not having a toaster oven! Exchange the microwave for the toaster oven! Anyway, our food choices change so much over the years, thank whoever for that! Great way to use cabbage, especially if there's bacon in there!

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    1. I agree with you, Paula, almost everything is better when bacon is involved! I still cannot figure out why I would want a toaster oven though... How do you use yours?

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  24. I have made this recipe twice in the past three weeks. Fully expecting a good soup--it IS Cocoa & Lavender after all--I found an extraordinary soup! (And thus made it again right away!) Wonderful soup from such ordinary ingredients!

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    1. So glad you like it, Susan! But now you are on your way to the Seacoast's most beautiful weather - when you won't need comfort food!

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