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The Foodist: Cabbage and Roguefort Soup

The Foodist: Cabbage and Roguefort Soup
Cabbage Soup with Chunky Roquefort Cheese!

This The Foodist: Cabbage and Roguefort Soup is another amazing soup from the book, The Soups of France by Lois Anne Rothert and Don Smithand it does not disappoint! Lots of delicious fresh vegetables (many from the winter garden!) and butter beans, prosciutto and chunky roquefort cheese. Ooh lala is was good!

If you’re going to try to make this soup, cut the savoy cabbage into smaller more manageable bits. It will still have that classic French country soup flavor, but it will be easier to eat. You will also want to add more water than it calls for!

Rick boiled the tailings from the vegetables and produced an instant vegetable stock that did the trick and really enhanced the flavor. It was quick and easy. Plus it has the added benefit of making the vegetable tailings easier to compost quickly!

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ Cup dried white beans such as Navy or Great Northern
  • 2½ Quarts water
  • 1 “Beautiful head Savoy cabbage
  • 4 Young, slender carrots, peeled
  • 2 Turnips, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Large onion, finely minced
  • 1 Slender leek, white and pale green parts only, finely minced
  • 1 Celery stalk, finely minced
  • ¼ Pound prosciutto or other air-cured ham, finely diced
  • 1 Whole clove
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (6 Fresh parsley stems, 2 Bay leaves, 2 fresh thyme sprigs tied in large celery stalk)
  • 2 Medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Ounces Roquefort cheese
  • Croûtons made with coarse country bread

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse the beans, then place in a bowl and cover generously with cold water. Soak the beans overnight. The following day, drain, place in a heavy saucepan, and add 1 quart of the water. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  2. Cut the cabbage head through the stem end into quarters. Remove the coarse center ribs. Cut each quarter into 2 wedges, making a total of & cabbage pieces. Cut the carrots and turnips into batonnets (small sticks). Reserve the vegetables.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy 10-quart soup pot over low heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, and prosciutto and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are golden, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1½ quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the reserved beans and cabbage, the clove and the bouquet garni, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, carrots, and turnips, cover partially, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Since the ham and Roquefort are quite salty, very little (if any) salt may be needed.
  5. Divide the Roquefort evenly among the 6 heated soup plates. Ladle the hot soup over the cheese, sprinkle with the croûtons, and serve immediately.

NOTE

From Richard: This is a colorful and unusual cabbage soup. The vegetables are cut into attractive morsels and are cooked until they are just tender but no longer. Finding nuggets of Roquefort hidden in the steaming, savory soup is a splendid surprise.

If you are lucky enough to have a small piece of country ham on hand, do use it in this dish. It will spread its incomparable fragrance throughout the soup. If you want to stay vegetarian, use a bit of savory portabello mushroom, suateed in butter and garlic and add half to the soup earlier and reserve the rest for the end.

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