Cabbage is not commonly associated with cream soups. In this post, I will teach you how to transform this cruciferous vegetable into a silky, tasty bisque-like soup. When you try this recipe for Cream of Cabbage Soup with Crispy Bacon & Petite Croutons, you will find yourself serving it for special occasions. The gluten-free soup base is thickened with potato rather than a roux, which makes it a quick and easy dish that is ready in approximately 30 minutes.
Nutritionally, the lowly cabbage is a superfood that is low in calories and packs a powerhouse of nutrition and health benefits. Cruciferous vegetables tend to be high in Vitamin A (plays an important role in bone growth and maintaining the immune system), Vitamin C (which we all know protects our immune system, and benefits eye and skin health) and Vitamin K (regulates normal blood clotting, helpful for bone health by assisting the transport of calcium through the body), as well as being high in dietary fibre, linked to improved heart health, increased weight loss and a reduction in inflammation. After understanding all of the nutritional benefits of cabbage, you need to try this easy-to-make and flavourful soup. You will not be disappointed!
Cream of Cabbage Soup with Crispy Bacon Bits & Petite Crunchy Croutons
Yield: 6 servings
CHEF TALK: One small head of cabbage will yield approximately 8 cups of loosely packed coarsely chopped cabbage. For efficient use of your time, cook the bacon lardons until crispy first, using the residual fond from the bacon fat to cook the aromatic vegetables. This soup is gluten-free (use gluten-free bread for the croutons). For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock and omit the bacon garnish. For a dairy-free version of the soup, substitute as required. This recipe is adapted from Ricardo cuisine. For grain-free, omit the croutons.
- 4 slices bacon, diced into lardons, cooked until crispy
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 cups (2 litres) lightly packed chopped green cabbage (one small head)
- 6 cups (1.5 litres) chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced or ½ cup pure potato flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free, if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion salt or onion powder
- 1 tablespoon bouillon (15 ml) (I use Better than Bouillon)
- ½ cup (125 ml) 35% cream
- Crispy bacon lardons
- 2 slices of bread (I used gluten-free bread), crust removed and cut into ¼” dice, browned in bacon fat or butter and seasoned with salt and pepper
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon lardons until crispy. Set the bacon bits aside and drain off almost all of the bacon fat.
- In the same pot, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the diced onion to the butter and cook until softened.
- Add the garlic, cabbage and potato. Toss to coat the vegetables.
- Add the broth, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves.
- Using an immersion blender or blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. Add the cream. Taste the soup for seasoning, and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup with crispy bacon bits and crunchy croutons. A drizzle of olive oil on top of the soup is very nice, as well.
For the Petite Crunchy Croutons:
- In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of bacon fat or butter. Toss the bread cubes in the hot fat and brown until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
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