Saturday, March 26

Recipe: Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup

Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup 1
Cool weather comfort, healthy & filling, garnished with a sprinkle of spring chives.

Thunder is rumbling overhead, raindrops are tapping on The Shack's old tin roof (something I never get tired of listening to), and today's forecast is calling for highs in the 30s, with freezing drizzle and snow flurries on the way.

I love this kind of weather. It makes me want to spend the day curled up next to the woodstove with a vintage quilt and a good book, a beagle pup snoozing quietly nearby (he does stop chewing on things once in a while), and something warm and comforting simmering on the stove.

Spring may have sprung, with 80 degree days last week, but cozy quilt and soup season are thankfully still hanging on. And while farm life doesn't quite lend itself to spending the day on the couch, and the beagle pup laying nearby just loudly crunched on a plastic clothespin (where does he find these things?), making homemade soup is something we can handle.

Although I'm crazy about cabbage, I'd never tasted cabbage soup until a recipe for potato, cabbage, and leek soup in a recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine inspired me to finally try making some.

A couple years ago during a cabbage overflow, I started roasting big pans of variously flavored shredded cabbage with delicious success, so it seemed only natural to make my cabbage soup like I do this Roasted Leek and Potato Soup with Arugula (or Spinach), where the vegetables are tossed with olive oil and roasted in the oven, and then the roasting pan is placed over two stove burners and briefly cooked with some of the stock, allowing all those nice darkened bits to become part of the soup.

This thick version of cabbage soup is rich and flavorful, yet low fat and full of healthy goodness. The roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, and cabbage also make for a tasty side dish on their own, and would probably be really good if you cooked some nice sausages in the pan along with them.

Homemade chicken stock is much better anything you can buy and ridiculously easy to make. It also freezes beautifully. All you have to do is put a few pieces of uncooked chicken or a leftover chicken carcass (make sure there's some meat on it so you don't end up with bone broth), a few carrots, a couple of quartered onions, two or three ribs of celery, a handful of parsley, and some black peppercorns into a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer gently for several hours and strain. Yep, that's it.

Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup 2

Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup
Makes about 6 cups - recipe may be doubled
Inspired by Bon Appetit and my Roasted Leek and Potato Soup with Arugula

I used my KitchenAid hand blender (one of the best kitchen purchases I've ever made) to purée the soup, and I liked the slightly textured results. For a smoother finish, use a counter top blender instead.

A digital kitchen scale is another worthwhile kitchen investment that makes life so much easier. I love my Oxo Good Grips 11-pound scale and often use it several times a day. It's also great for weighing postage. A heavy stainless steel roasting pan has so many uses (like making big batches of apple or pear butter) and is perfect for roasting vegetables because the tall sides allow you to easily stir everything around.

The milk and cheese are optional here, and the garnish possibilities are many. Like most soups, this one tastes even better the second day. As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference.

1 pound red or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" dice (about 2½ cups)
1 pound yellow onions, peeled and chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces (about 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 pound green cabbage, chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" dice (about 6 cups)
Another 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 cups organic chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup organic whole milk (optional)
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish suggestions:
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Thin slices of Monterey Jack cheese
Snipped fresh chives (so easy to grow) or chopped scallions
Some finely chopped cabbage for a little crunch
A dollop of sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche
A dash or two (or three!) of Sriracha hot chili sauce (I love this stuff)

Heat the oven to 425°. Combine the potatoes, onions, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Add the cabbage and another 1/2 teaspoon salt to the roasting pan, toss to combine, and roast until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place it over two burners on the stove. Stir in 2 cups of the chicken stock and cook over low heat for a few minutes, scraping up any dark and crispy roasted bits that are stuck to the pan.

Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a 3 or 4 quart pot. Stir in 2 more cups of chicken stock, plus the milk and/or Pecorino Romano if using.

Use an immersion blender or counter top blender to carefully purée the soup, adding up to 1 more cup of chicken stock if it's thicker than you like. Cook over low heat until hot and check the seasonings (salt brings out the flavors, and you may need more if your stock isn't very salty). Serve, garnished as desired.

How about some homemade bread to go with your soup?
Beyond Easy Beer Bread (my most popular recipe, a warm crusty loaf in under an hour)

Oatmeal Toasting Bread (makes great rolls, too)
Carrot Herb Rolls (and a beautiful bread book for beginners)

More Farmgirl Fare soup recipes:
Roasted Garlic Lover's White Bean Soup (fat free, vegan, and delicious!)

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, slurping up soup and loving rain gear and rubber boots.


  1. Sounds yummy - we keep getting cabbages in our veg box. It does wear you down after a while! x

  2. I love your oven to burner method... that is a brilliant idea!!!

  3. I'm crazy about cabbage in soup, so this sounds great to me. Thanks for the mention of my soup too. Fun to see your printer-friendly recipe for this one; looks great!

  4. Do you think this would work with chard instead of cabbage. I don't grow cabbage but I'm knee deep in chard. I keep looking for ways to hide it from DH.

  5. It turned cooler today in MS. Would be a good day for this soup!

  6. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for taking the time to write. :)

    Hooray for Swiss chard! I love the stuff and am always trying to convince everybody to grow it. It can start to get a little overwhelming, though, when the leaves start looking like something out of Jurassic Park. ;)

    I think this soup would work just fine using chard, especially since the Roasted Leek and Potato Soup I based it on was made with arugula or spinach. You'll need to reduce the cooking time of the chard, though. The arugula only cooked for about 5 minutes. In this recipe for Slow Roasted Greek Style Leg of Lamb I cook the Swiss chard for about 10 minutes.

    Another option would be to make a batch of my Swiss Chard Artichoke Soup.

    Still knee deep in chard? There's actually a special section for Swiss chard recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index. I love the Swiss Chard Artichoke White Pizza. :)

  7. Just made this and it was delicious. Somehow I was out of onions, but it came out fine without them. I used smoked garlic seasoned salt for the salt. It was probably the stock I used, but it came out a bit salty for me. Also, my husband is dairy free so I put a handful of cashews into the stock and blended them with it, and then topped it with avocado cubes. Easy and yummy and nourishing. Thanks!

  8. Hi there,
    Just visiting after your lovely comments on my writing blog... and this soup is first in line for when soup weather hits here in Melbourne, Australia. (it's coming... oh yes, it's coming!)
    I love roasting things, and creating a soup from roasted veggies is always good. I never thought to try cabbage though.
    I'll keep trawling through your posts, I love reading about your farm adventures!


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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