One of the many gifts my grandmother, Nani, gave me was her delicious family recipes. I call them heritage recipes. They are all warm and filling and full of the most delicious flavors! Today I’m gifting you with her amazing Cabbage Soup recipe.
I grew up eating this scrumptious soup and have been making it for decades.
These recipes and Cabbage Soup are what I like to call peasant food.
My Nani was one of 11 children. The daughter of an immigrant coal miner. You needed to make meals that would go a long way for just a few $$ to feed a big family like that!
I recently found our ancestral home in Tomhicken Pa on the side of Sugarloaf mountain. I saw the remnants of the coal mine my great grandfather work 18 in hours a day! And I got to talk to some of the people in this tiny village whose families lived there for generations.
This was a life-changing experience and I will pass all the stories to my children and grandchildren!
My Nani and her family were poor but my great-grandmother was a good and frugal home cook. I loved to hear how my Nani would talk so warmly about her time growing up!
They might have been poor but they were rich in love of family and delicious recipes!
Now that big heads of field-grown cabbage are bountiful in my local farmers market I know it’s time to make Nani’s Cabbage Soup!
This recipe makes a big pot! And it is not rocket science so you can add a little more of this or a little less of that, except for the meat! The pork makes the stock, and soup is all about a good stock!
CABBAGE SOUP TIPS
There is really not much you can do to mess up Cabbage Soup. It’s that easy! But here are a few tips that will help make it scrumptious!!!!
First, make sure you have a big pot! It makes a lot. You can half this recipe, but why? Make it and freeze it. It’s one of those soups that just gets better!
Use the biggest head of cabbage you can find or use two smaller heads. Cut out the core and the spine of the cabbage. It’s hard and fibrous and tough to eat.
I think salt is a matter of taste. Layer salt as you add ingredients. Putting salt into soup at the end just makes it salty instead of bringing out the flavors in the soup.
Cabbage soup just begs for a heavier hand when it comes to pepper. I pepper my pork chops before I sauteé them and then give a few good grinds of pepper to my bowl of soup.
NANI’S RICH CABBAGE SOUP
a hearty and full flavored pork and cabbage soup
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 4 large center cut, bone in pork chops
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large head of cabbage, chopped into 2 inch cubes
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 1 can tomato soup
- 1 15.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 cups pealed, diced potatoes, optional
Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven and brown the pork chops on both sides a couple at a time.
Move the browned pork chops to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions to the dutch oven and sprinkle them with a little salt. Stir and sweat the onions over medium-low heat until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic to the onions, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Put the pork back into the dutch oven and add the chopped cabbage.
Add the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Stir, turn the heat to high, and bring the pot of ingredients to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45minutes. Add potatoes to the last 20 minutes of cooking time. The cabbage should be soft but not mushy.
Taste and add salt and pepper.
Remove the pork from the soup and shred using two forks.
Put the pork back into the soup and discard the bones.
Garnish with sour cream and sliced green onions.
This soup is even better the second day when all the flavors have a chance to marry! And it freezes well.
Country spare ribs can be used instead of pork chops.
We often eat delicious Cabbage Soup for dinner and the leftovers for lunches! And don’t forget the crusty bread! YUM!