Soup can help bring you back to reality.

A week in London goes by way to quickly! We saw some wonderful sights, ate some really great food, ran into a familiar face, did a bus tour, and also gazed at old & new architecture. We walked practically every inch of the city from Soho to Notting Hill…& more. It was really a fascinating trip that was way overdue and much needed.

On one particular day we walked so much from morning to night that I collapsed on the bed when I walked into our hotel room; only to wake two hours later. Talk about tiered!?! And I would do it all over again without a doubt. I loved every aspect of the city and could easily see myself going back for longer. Although, that is a vagabond adventure that is a ways off for now. I do know that if I was to go back I would need a small apartment to stay at so that I have a kitchen to cook in. It is not fair to see all the fantastic foods that you cannot take advantage of.

I will dream on about that, but reality does set in. Reality = dealing with jet lag for about two days; and no food in the refrigerator. Brian and I headed to the market for some basics. I picked up some carrots, celery, onion, potato…just some staples and a head of savoy cabbage. I made stock to have for the week and baked some French baguettes. It made our apartment feel warm and smell fantastic while we unpacked. Back to normal we were headed.

As dinner time approach we both agreed that something simple and uncomplicated was in order. I did not really have a plan for the savoy cabbage we picked up – it was just that it looked so good. I decided a real simple soup made with it was just what the jet lag called for. Adding in some garlic crostini for flavor and texture completes it. It was just what we needed. This soup is satisfying for a night in relaxing and facing the reality that we are no longer on vacation. This soup is also great for company. I know I will be making it again for others to share. It really was that good. I am happy to be home cooking in my own kitchen again…Maybe even happier I made the trip and have the memories. Now the reality that the holidays are around the corner!

Savoy Cabbage Soup (feeds 4 – 6)

1 small head of Savoy Cabbage, cored and grated

2 shallots, minced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped small

3 stalks of celery, chopped small

1 tbsp of butter

1 ½ quarts of veggie stock (chicken stock is fine for subbing)

1 cup of dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small rind of Parmesan Cheese (**see notes below)

Thyme (fresh or dried), just a few pinches

Baguette slices

Olive oil (about 2 tbsp)

1 garlic clove

First place a large pot over medium heat and melt the butter in the bottom of it. Toss in your shredded cabbage, shallot, carrot, and celery and season with the salt and pepper. Sauté a bit until it all begins to soften. This will be about 5 – 10 minutes.

Next, place in the rind of your parmesan cheese in with your veggies and pour in your stock and wine. Let it all come to a simmer, stirring it occasionally; about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush your sliced baguette with olive oil and toast under a heated broiler until your desired “toasted” color appears. Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Make a small slice into your garlic clove and rub both sides of the toasted baguette. Set aside for plating when you are done.

Finally, taste your soup and adjust your seasoning if needed. At this time you should sprinkled in the thyme. Remove the soup from the heat and fish out the parmesan rind. Ladle in the soup into the bowls and place a finished crostini in each one. You can sprinkle in a bit of grated parmesan if you like, but not necessary. Eat and enjoy!


**NOTE: I always buy my parmesan sliced so that I can grate as needed. It stays fresher this way and the flavor is superior. I personally like to save the tough rind edge of the cheese in my refrigerator. When making stews, sauces, and soups like this one I like to add it in. It will permeate what you are cooking with its flavor leaving what you are making filled with this essence of parmesan flavor.