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!


Katreader said...

The weather in Austin, TX (where I lived for 10 years) played a major factor in me moving back to WNY. The high tomorrow may be 7 and we have a lake effect snow warning-but I'm happy to be back! I'm not a cabbage fan, but this recipe is intriguing-I may just have to try it!

Aurian said...

Here in Holland it is cold in the winter, the last two years we are finally having some real snow again. In summer it is either warm or wet.
I love cold winter dishes, but as I don't really like to cook, I have no recipes to share. And what used to be winter vegetables are available all year round nowadays, so not so special anymore.

Unknown said...

Katreader: welcome back to Western New York. The high today in Rochester is supposed to be 9. Yeah, I hate winter, but I like living here. When I visited Texas (in September) it was 98F with 98% humidity. We paid extra to change our tickets and come home a day early. We don't complain about the humity here much anymore.

ev said...

It's 5 degrees here in Albany, NY. I grew up just outside of Syracuse, so I seldom complain about the snow we get here. It's the ice I can't stand.

I'm going to have to try this recipe- if I can get it made without my hubby around so he doesn't see what else goes in to it!!

signlady217 said...

I make and eat soups/beans/chile all year round, just because I like them and they're fairly easy; other that browning your meat, many times they are one-pot meals. (I don't really like to cook!) It's more like "What do I feel like making with what might be in the pantry?" as opposed to "It's cold outside!"

We're in NE MS, and the weather the last few winters has been odd. More snow and ice than usual, 3 times last year, and 3 times so far this year. I can do without any of it! ;)

Leann Sweeney said...

I grew up in Niagara Falls and the escarpment area, went to school in Syracuse, lived in Rochester, my daughter went to school in Austin, lived Massachusetts while she went to Smith and I would love to visit Holland. Okay. I have something in common with all of you. And if you cut that cabbage up small enough, no one will know it's cabbage! :-)

Booklady said...

I grew up in East Texas, we did get some ice and cold temps in the winter, but when I moved to Austin for college, all that went out the window. Imagine being 8 months pregnant in Austin in July! Now we live in Colorado. We get plenty of cold temps. Your recipe sounds interesting, but my kids would not like the stewed tomatoes or beans. Cabbage doesn't bother them. My favorite cold winter recipe is Cheeseburger Soup made with bison. I make a pot every two weeks and we all eat off it for about a week.

Rita B said...

I grew up in the U.P. of MI. With snow up to your eyebrows or higher, after the plows went thru. Now living in Central WI. Snows not so deep and it was only -17* this morning. My mom in the U.P. had
-25* this a.m. And yes, the first real cold spell the chili gets made. I think we wait all fall for the cold to hit so we can have chili.

Nanc said...

My husband calls this soup "stuffed cabbage soup". It is one of his favorite recipes passed down from his mom...and you are is great! I always make a loaf a dill bread along side as that is what my mother in law did...

RosieJo said...

27 degrees right now (7am) with a high of 59 this afternoon here in middle Georgia. I'm headed to the pool for water aerobics now and will start the soup in my crockpot as soon as I get home. It's a good day!