A happy camper am I. Last week, mother nature provided us with a few days of temps only in the low 80’s. Hallelujah. And the nights have been cooler too, which makes for better sleeping. My mind had been turning to soup already even with the summer temps. So when this recipe appeared in our local paper recently, credited to Karen Collard of Anaheim, CA, it sounded so easy. And tasty. In fact, it’s so easy I almost didn’t clip out the recipe. But, I’m telling you, as simple as it is, the flavor is really good.
The other thing – this soup may not look like much, but appearance doesn’t matter. Trust me on this one. The original recipe was intended to be very low fat – just cabbage, onions, chicken broth, and a packaged gravy mix mixed with some milk. I decided to ramp it up a little by adding some spicy Italian sausage and some parsley for garnish. Otherwise the recipe is essentially the same. You could substitute turkey sausage (although I wouldn’t advise it as the pork/sausage provides a ton of good flavor), or eliminate it. I added a bit of olive oil too, to caramelize the onions just a little bit. This doesn’t cook a long time – in fact I think it’s better if it’s NOT cooked for hours. You still want just a bit of texture to the cabbage. But what it is, is EASY. Trust me on this. You’ll have dinner on the table in about 45 minutes.
It’s a rare day when I use any packaged mix for anything. I had to shop at a couple of grocery stores to even FIND the McCormick sausage flavored country gravy mix. Look in the big grocery stores for it. It just made the preparation so simple. It’s mixed with more liquid (milk and chicken broth instead of water) to give it a soupy consistency. So, go make this, okay? We just LUVVVVED it. I had a hard time keeping my tasting spoon out of the pot as it simmered at the end. We had leftovers two nights later and it was just as good, maybe better, the way soups often are. I gave the recipe to my friend Cherrie, who made it a night or two later. She and her husband slurped up two bowls of it the first night. More testimony that this is a keeper.
Creamy Cabbage Soup with Sausage
Recipe: Adapted from a recipe found in the Orange County Register, 2009.
1 pound Italian sausage — crumbled (hot or mild)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion — chopped
1 whole cabbage — coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup milk — cold
2 5/8 ounces McCormick Sausage Flavor Country Gravy Mix — dry mix package
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Italian parsley — minced, for garnish
1. To a large, heavy Dutch oven, heat olive oil and add chopped onion. While it sautes, crumble up the sausage meat and the cabbage.
2. When the onion is cooked through (10 minutes) add the sausage and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Add the cabbage and continue cooking for 15 minutes until cabbage is cooked, stirring frequently.
3. In a bowl combine the country gravy mix and milk. Stir with a whisk. Add it to the cabbage mixture, along with the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasonings (salt and pepper) and serve. Garnish with some Italian parsley, if desired.
Per Serving: 413 Calories; 32g Fat (72.6% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 62mg Cholesterol; 1497mg Sodium.
Two years ago: Drop Biscuits (delicious, rich and easy)