04 April 2014

Caramelized Cabbage and Rice Soup

This is sort of a slow-burn recipe, but you can neglect the pot for quite some time while it cooks, allowing you to putter in the garden or enjoy a nice glass of wine or two with friends.  It's also sort of a cross-over from winter to spring, using light, simple ingredients and simmering slowly and thoroughly to produce a thick, rich flavored stew.  Enjoy it when you've got the time.

Caramelized Cabbage and Rice Soup

Serves 4-6

2 lbs. green cabbage, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
3 cups vegetable or meat broth
2/3 cup short-grain white rice
1/3 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, warm the oil over medium heat.  When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it becomes golden in color.  Add the garlic and cook, continuing to stir, until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Then add the cabbage, stirring well to coat, and cook until wilted.  Lower the heat, add the vinegar and some salt and pepper to taste, and cover, cooking at least 1 hour or until very tender.

After an hour, add the broth and rice and cook uncovered at a moderate simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  If the soup becomes too thick before it is done, add a bit more water.  It should be thick but not pasty.

When the rice is done, stir in the cheese, adjust seasonings,  and serve.