I couldn't not make this soup. When I first read over the ingredients, I thought that the combined flavors would taste sort of Russian. And, if you've read this blog for very long, you know that we have a soft spot for Russia in our house. Cabbage? Vinegar? Someone who's actually from Russia is probably very confused right now, but to me this soup just screamed, "Make me!"
So about now you're probably looking over the recipe ingredients yourself and, if you're like me, you're thinking, "Caraway seeds? Ok, I'll try the soup, but who has caraway seeds sitting in their cupboard?" Because that is exactly what I thought. And then I checked my spice rack and what do you know? I have some. Weird. So if you're wondering if caraway seeds are necessary to this soup--no way. But it does add a complex dill-like, fennel-y taste that you can't quite put your finger on. Still a really delicious soup without the caraway, but definitely a more interesting soup with it.
Cabbage and White Bean Soup
(adapted from A Veggie Venture)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 cups cabbage, chopped (about 1/4 medium-size cabbage)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1) In a large soup pot, heat oil and cook the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
2) Add the carrots and celery and cook another 3 minutes. Add the caraway, if using, and cook another minute.
3) Stir in parsley, brown sugar, cabbage, and broth and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4) Add beans and vinegar, simmer 5 minutes or until beans are heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or let rest for a day to allow flavors to meld. Enjoy!