Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Soup Time!

by Leann Sweeney

When you live in the south or southwest, winter is never really the winter I remember. I grew up in upstate NY and we got lake effect snow, tons of it, every winter. Not that I want to go back to that or have the amount of snow that many of you have been experiencing this year. But despite living in Texas for 35 years, I still haven't gotten used to the weather.

Take Saturday. We woke up and there was frost all over the roof and the temperature was around 30 degrees. By eleven AM, all I needed was a light jacket. The sun was beating down and temps had risen to 60. A thirty degree increase in about four hours? That's frickin' strange when you consider what I dealt with growing up. The consistent weather here only comes in the summer. I can count on 90 plus degrees from the end of June all the way through October. YUCK. Hate it.

That's why, when it's cool, or a little cool, I make chili. But since we had a cold snap last week and I made chili, I thought about an old recipe, one that's healthy and amazingly good considering the ingredients. I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, but this soup, with it's odd ingredients, makes cabbage taste wonderful. (and this is so easy to make!) So I thought I would share it today:

Cabbage Soup

1 1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey) or 1 lb will do!
1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 large can of V-8 juice--the really big can
1 large can of stewed tomatoes (I just use the 14 oz size)
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
2 cans of red kidney beans, rinsed
2 pkgs of dry Italian dressing (I use the Zesty Italian by Good Seasons--no preservatives)
1 small can of tomato paste
salt and pepper if desired, but I never add it. This is well-seasoned all by itself.

Brown ground meat and drain. Cook cabbage in a small amount of water until tender. (I have actually put uncooked cabbage in the pot when I'm rushed. Doesn't seem to make any difference.) Drain cabbage, combine with all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour.

Do you have a cold weather favorite recipe, one you just can't wait to make when winter rolls in? Do share!