Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chinese Cabbage Soup

It is a cold day in the forties today. It is rainy and windy and later today I have to go out to the last farmers market of the season. To fortify myself I decided I needed soup for lunch. Since I didn't feel like going out to the garden to pick anything I made Chinese cabbage soup with the rest of the head of cabbage.

I first looked online for a recipe, but they all seemed to be missing something or called for ingredients that I didn't have. So I just made something up that seemed right. I love it when a plan works.

Daphne's Chinese Cabbage Soup

  • T oil
  • 1/4 c diced onion (maybe, it was a small onion from the garden)
  • 1 1/2t grated garlic (yes I grate my garlic with a microplane grater)
  • 1 t grated ginger (and my ginger too)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork or ground turkey
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • t toasted sesame oil
  • 2T brandy (I didn't have rice wine or sherry)
  • 2 T seasoned rice vinegar (because it is the kind I have)
  • T sugar
  • pepper
  • 4 c chicken broth
  • 2 bunching onions (because I found them in my fridge after already frying up the others and more onions are always better)
  • 12 oz Chinese cabbage (I think. It really is a guess as to how much.)

Do I really have to tell you to heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent then add the garlic and ginger? My recipe cards tend not to have this step. I break the ingredients out into brackets and don't even say what to do with them. Well anyway, after cooking the above for 30 seconds I added the meat and cooked until brown. Then I threw in the brandy then the rest of the seasonings. I stirred it up then added the broth and bunching onions. While it was simmering (about four minutes - maybe - no promises). I chopped up the Chinese cabbage. First I separated the middle stalk part that is thick and chopped it 1/8" thick. OK I tried to chop it 1/8" thick but most of them ended up thicker. I tossed them into the pot. Then I chopped up the leafy part about 1/4" thick. I was better at that. After a few minutes I tossed those in. I let it come to a good boil and took it off the heat.

Lets just say it was really yummy. Sometimes my experiments don't work out. Sometimes they do. I consider this one a success.


  1. That looks perfect, and deliciously warming, Daphne! Friday is our last CSA pickup day, too. Sob!!!!

  2. That looks really yummy and comforting. You cook like I do, recipes are often times just suggestions... My favorite grocery store is about 15 miles away and if a recipe calls for something that's not in my pantry or available in the village then I make do.

  3. That sounds so good. I'm the soup nut around here. Maybe I'll pick up a bottle of sherry today and give my own pot a try with the rest of that cabbage head in the fridge. . .

    Perfect for a cold day!

  4. Looks good Daphne! I have to admit that I'm a soup making addict and to me, the key is always to add a bit of sugar like you did. My sister taught me that if you want to enhance something that's sweet, add a bit of salt...something savory, add a bit of sugar. Works every time.

  5. Sounds very yummy Perfect for a cool rainy day!

  6. our friend Ben, Oh how sad. Now we will just have to wait until next year.

    Michelle, that is me to a tee. I do break the rule and go out and get things if I'm cooking for a party, but otherwise I use what is in the pantry.

    Stefaneener, I wanted to make it with pork and brown stock, but sadly I don't keep pork in the freezer. Maybe I should. If you do it that way let me know.

    Thomas, I was surprised all of the recipes that I was looking at called for salt. I couldn't imagine needing more salt than the tamari provided. I've never thought to add sugar to savory dishes though. I do it all the time with Chinese inspired dishes, but not other ones.

    Curmudgeon, Thanks.

  7. Daphne, if you'd like some strawberry crowns, let me know. I think I will hunt for some more this weekend. Since you're so close, I'm sure they would survive in the mail. Just email me if you'd like some.

  8. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  9. Yum. We live on Chinese soup for long stretches of the winter. And if one has cabbage in it, all the better! Can't wait to try this.. Thanks, Daphne!

  10. Thomas, I'm not going to plant them here. I'm still hoping to find a house in Arlington so would want to plant them there.

    Reus, thanks

    June, I hope you like it.

  11. Your soup looks excellent! I make a cabbage soup from a recipe an Italian lady gave to our family.

    Cooked hamburger
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can tomato paste
    4 cups of stock
    chopped carrots, onions, celery
    shredded cabbage
    couple tablespoons sugar

    It's really good. Some times I make it without the cabbage, freeze it and then add the cabbage when I unthaw/recook it.

  12. 'Tis the season for hearty soups ! That's looking mighty good, mmmmm.

  13. Dan that sounds tasty. I'll have to try it this winter since I've finally stocked up on cabbage.

    Miss M, thanks