Diane Prather: Use cabbage to warm up in the colder months

Fresh garden vegetable can be used to make wonderful soups

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We have some nice cabbages in our garden, so I've been trying to find ways to use them. This past weekend I made cabbage burgers - our son and family were here - and the burgers sure went in a hurry.

I ran out of raised bread dough when I made the burgers, but I had a lot of cabbage/hamburger mixture left. I saved the mixture, and when I can remember to buy some more frozen bread dough, I'll make a cabbage burger casserole.

To make the casserole, I put rolled-out dough on the bottom of a casserole dish, put the cabbage mixture on top, and then cover it with more rolled-out dough. The top dough needs a couple of slits and then the casserole is baked at 350 degrees until the top is browned. The casserole isn't cabbage burgers, but close and a good way to use up leftovers.

When I looked in my files for ways to use cabbage, I found two soup recipes. One is a minestrone soup that's a little different than the one I featured in this column a few weeks ago.

To make "Minestrone Ground Beef Soup," you'll need: 1 pound ground beef, 1 large onion (chopped), 2 potatoes (peeled and cubed), 2 carrots (peeled and chopped), 2 stalks celery (diced), 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes and its juice, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Brown the ground beef and pour off any grease. Put everything in a large kettle or crockpot. Cook for 8 to 12 hours. (I brown the beef in the soup kettle.) I use diced tomatoes for this soup. If you use whole tomatoes, mash them up a bit. Also, remove the bay leaf before serving the soup.

The following recipe calls for cubed beef, such as stew meat. I cut up a chuck roast. Because meat is so expensive, you also can use a soup bone that has meat on it. Cook it up first and remove the meat from the bone before adding the other ingredients.

To make "Vegetable Beef Soup," you'll need: 2 to 3 pounds of cubed meat, 3 quarts of water, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 cup sliced potatoes, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 can diced Italian tomatoes, 2 teaspoons parsley flakes, 1 cup chopped celery and 1/3 cup rice.

Combine the beef, water, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper in a large kettle. Cook until the meat is tender, usually about 2 to 3 hours. You may need to add water.

When the meat is done, add the onion, carrots, potatoes, shredded cabbage, celery and the Italian tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Add the rice. Simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.

This week, I'm going to try a zucchini soup. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Do you have recipes for using cabbage? Call me at 824-8809 or send your recipes to me at Box 415, Craig 81626.

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