I’ve heard that a restaurant in Snohomish–named, oddly enough, the Cabbage Patch–first invented this soup. Could be. Otherwise, that’s just a very weird coincidence. I’ve only been in that restaurant once and I didn’t have the soup, so I can’t be certain it’s the exact same thing. I think my Aunt Barb first gave me the recipe, but that was a long, long time ago and I could be wrong. Anyway, this is a family favorite. No … it’s more than a favorite. It’s the stuff that nearly single-handedly keeps us alive throughout the fall and winter.
I asked Dave what he wanted for dinner two nights ago. I knew it would be one of two things: tacos, or Cabbage Patch Soup. He picked the latter; otherwise I’d be writing about tacos right now.
Cabbage Patch Soup
- about a lb of hamburger, browned w/onions, garlic, green and/or red peppers
- 2 – 28 oz cans of stewed or diced tomatoes with juice
- 3 – 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
- 4 cups beef broth (or 4 cups water w/beef bouillon)
- 1/2 head green cabbage, diced
- 4-5 TBSP chili powder (or less if you don’t like so much heat)
If you’re starting from scratch, brown your hamburger with the onion, garlic, green and/or red peppers and drain off the fat. If you’ve been doing some batch cooking, pull out one of your baggies of hamburger and defrost before adding to the soup pot or crock pot.
If you have all day, the crock pot works fine for this. But I have found that I like the flavor better if I cook it on the stove for 3-4 hours, watching carefully to add water when necessary. I just think it melds the flavor together better. But who knows … maybe 12 hours in the crock pot would have the same effect. I’m just never in the mood for getting up at 5 a.m. to see if that will work. 🙂
To your soup pot or crock pot, add the cooked hamburger, tomatoes w/juice, drained kidney beans, beef broth and chili powder. Start cooking this while you chop up half a head of cabbage.
Throw that in the pot and cook till the cabbage is tender and the whole thing begins to taste wonderful. It takes several hours and plenty of tasting/seasoning (add more garlic, chili powder, beef bouillon, salt and pepper as needed), but you’ll be happy you were patient. And as much as you like it today, you’ll like it that much better tomorrow. If there’s any left.
Serve with crusty, buttered rolls.