Italians make ‘cabbage peasant soup’ a lot – but don’t let the name detract from the taste. Peasant food is often served in the top restaurants for its satisfying flavoursome nature and cultural roots. This 7 ingredient, one pot dish takes a while to cook, but the preparation is very easy.
Savoy cabbage is grown all year round in the UK, making it a great winter crop. It’s great in this dish because it’s rough texture breaks down and falls apart to an almost melt in your mouth texture. If you swap it for a standard white cabbage, make sure you sweat it for only a few minutes (rather than the 40 minutes in this recipe). White cabbage is better not overcooked.
If you prefer your cabbage a little more intact, try this roasted savoy cabbage with lemon tahini dressing and smoked paprika nuts.
For me barley is a winner here. Its chewy texture is really nice next to the cabbage which is falling apart. You can switch it out of 2 tins of mashed white beans, a couple of potatoes, 200 g of rice rice or quinoa – any of these will thicken this soup.
Savoy cabbage, barley and parmesan soup
- 1 saucepan
- 1 savoy cabbage
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60 g parmesan
- 1 parmesan rind
- 200 g barley
- 1 lemon zested
- ½ lemon juice
- 500 ml stock
- 1 liter water
- black pepper
- Slice the cabbage into quarters and cut the thick stem out. Shred the rest of the cabbage into thin strips. Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic. Place all these ingrdients into a saucepan with the oil, stir and cover. Keep it covered and sweat it for 30 – 40 minutes.1 savoy cabbage, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add the stock, water, barley and parmesan rind to the cabbage and bring to the boil. Continue to simmer until the barley is soft – about 40 minutes should do it.1 parmesan rind, 200 g barley, 500 ml stock, 1 liter water
- Stir in the lemon zest, juice and grated parmesan and season with lots of black pepper prior to serving.60 g parmesan, 1 lemon zested, ½ lemon juice, black pepper