Cabbage Soup (Kapusniak ze swiezej kapusty)

“Of all the things you cook in your kitchen, surely soup is the most personal. It needn’t have a name, it need never taste the same, and you may never remember how you made it.”  Monica Sheridan, The Art of Irish Cooking 1965. 

In my opinion nothing could be more true. I can remember countless times throwing together a great soup with scraps from the refrigerator, not taking notes, and never being able to re-create it. However, this soup is one that I make regularly but have never measured the ingredients until yesterday. That’s the one thing about knowing your soup pot. My mom has this beat up old pot. The lid is dented, the sides are dented, the black handle on the lid is now gray from oxidation and it is cracked as well. That pot has probably seen more soup than some commercial restaurant pots. I’ve watched her make cabbage soup, kapusniak, potato soup, tomato soup, dill pickle soup, beef barley soup (ok, you get the point) in this pot and never measured a thing. I once asked her how many quarts it was and of course the answer was “I don’t know”. I have a modern version of that pot, it’s an enameled cast iron and I’m not sure how many quarts it is either. So I guess my long-winded point is, learn your pot and never measure again. Now I did measure for the sake of this blog. I’m sure if I said fill the pot one inch from the top with cabbage, add the rest of the ingredients, cover with water and simmer no one would attempt to make this. This recipe is a vegetarian version of the cabbage soup I grew up on and my mom still makes to this day.

Cooks notes: I use Bragg Liquid Aminos in this recipe. They are available at any health food store or even at Kroger now. It is kind of a soy sauce replacement. It is much lower in sodium and has a great flavor. If you can’t find it you could use Maggi or Kitchen Bouquet. However, if you use either of those cut back to a few dashes as they have a much more condensed flavor and higher sodium content. Also I’m not sure if those products are certified vegetarian. 


10 cups of hand chopped cabbage

1 medium onion chopped small

1 large carrot shredded

1 large or 2 small celery stalks chopped small

8 cups of water

1 rounded tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon vegetarian soup base

3 small squeezes of Bragg Liquid Aminos (see cooks notes) then to taste

2 whole allspice 

1 to 2 fresh chopped tomatoes or 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (I like Amore brand double strength)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: (Here’s the cool part). Place everything in the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover most of the way until the cabbage is to your liking. Enjoy!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by amy esseily on January 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Omg kenny I am at kroger now with everything in my cart but the veg base. Where can I find it?


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