Even though Spring is just around the corner, here in New York we're still having our fair share of chilly weather. Last Wednesday, after a nearly 60˚ day, the temperature struggled to reach 30˚ and all I could think of was soup. I've been making a variation of this soup all winter since cabbage and potatoes are some of the only vegetables we can get locally. This last batch was especially good and I think it has to do with the technique of layering flavors throughout the cooking process. Enjoy!
Cabbage & White Bean Soup
1 small onion, chopped 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced 15 oz white beans 6 small fingerling potatoes, cut into small rounds 1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced 3 tbl butter 6 cups Vegetable Mineral Broth (or broth of your choice) salt & pepper dried oregano
Place 2 tbls butter in a deep soup pot over medium heat and allow the butter to melt and coat the bottom of the pan. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and a pinch of oregano, stir to coat and cover the pot. Allow the potatoes to brown a bit and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don't stick. Add remaining 1 tbl butter along with the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, a bit more salt, pepper, oregano, and cook for another 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the white beans and a few tablespoons of broth and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Allow to cook for several minutes, then add the remaining broth and another pinch of oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add the cabbage, and allow the soup to simmer for at least 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and oregano if necessary. Serve with a generous dusting of Parmesan.
Cabbage contains potent anti-cancer phytochemicals and is very nutrient dense, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, biotin, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Many studies confirm that the higher the intake of cabbage-family vegetables, the lower the rates of cancer, particularly colon, prostate, lung, and breast cancer. Cabbage has also been shown to treat peptic ulcers effectively due to its concentration of the amino acid glutamine, which helps repair and regenerate the gastrointestinal tract.
White Beans, like all beans, contain a rich source of fiber. They also contain significant amounts of antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Beans are also protective against cancer according to the Nurses Health Study II. Researchers found a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer in the women who ate beans or lentils two or more times a week.