There is a slight problem with the recipe that I am about to share: it is not good looking.
Being part of a very visual profession, I know that the quickest way to get a recipe killed is for it to look bad. A few years ago we were doing slow cooker food for a story for Wish Magazine. The chicken tagine tasted fabulous, was easy to prepare and featured ingredients most people have on hand. In other words, a perfect recipe for busy Wish readers. Its fatal flaw was that it wasn’t fashion-model-fabulous looking.
Chicken tagine never graced the pages of the magazine.
So with that in mind, I beg you to make this recipe. It has all the hallmarks of a recipe to suit 2009; it is cheap, easy and good for you. It is dead simple to make and I really must give credit to Grant Van Gameren, chef/co-owner at The Black Hoof. This is a man with a real affection for turning nothing into something really quite fabulous. He serves cabbage soup with bone marrow which is really fabulous.
He also writes a blog called Charcuterie Sundays that you should check out if you want insight into how an innovative chef thinks. He has a general description of how to make cabbage soup and I mostly followed it, but then couldn’t resist cooking up some bacon, chopping it fine and adding it at the end. A few crisp, crumbled bacon pieces would have been a nice garnish but my daughter ate them before I could stop her. I sprinkled nutmeg on it instead which is exactly what Grant does.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium head of green cabbage, cored and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
10 whole cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups white wine
4 slices cooked crisp bacon
1. Sauté cabbage, onion, garlic, salt and sugar over medium low heat until cabbage is limp and translucent, about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature if it starts to brown.
2. Increase temperature and deglaze with wine. Add enough water to cover cabbage. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce temperature to maintain a good simmer.
3. Continue to simmer at least four hours. Yes: this is slow cooking stove-top style.
4. Add 3 pieces of chopped bacon. Puree soup with immersion blender. Add a few tablespoons of butter to ramp up silkiness.
5. Serve top a few crumbled pieces of bacon and a sprinkle of nutmeg