Cabbage soup means different things to different people: for some it’s a calorie-conscious diet mainstay, while for others it’s a rich and hearty comfort food. But either way it’s delicious, nutritious classic.
Cabbage is a truly versatile vegetable. Its unique flavor can hold its own as a main ingredient, but its also the perfect enhancement for other strong tastes. Texture-wise it’s equally adaptable; raw, it’s crispy, crunchy, and refreshing, while cooking makes it delectably tender.
Whether it’s the star of the dish or playing a supporting role, cabbage adds more than just taste-appeal. It delivers plenty of fiber along with vitamins A, C, and K, and its rich in essential minerals including Potassium, Manganese, Thiamin, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. Its low-carb, non-fat, and extremely low in calories, weighing in at less than 50 calories per serving.
Many people are introduced to cabbage soup as part of a weight loss program, and endless variations of the “cabbage soup diet” have been circulating for decades. In most of them, the basic instruction is to eat as much cabbage soup as wanted, but little or nothing else for a week or more. While medical experts agree that this type of diet is far too limited to be healthful, the low-cal version of cabbage soup is an excellent “go-to” choice for dieters. It’s a tasty and filling addition to a balanced menu and a nutritious snack that can tide you over between meals without piling on unwanted calories.
Basic Low-Calorie Cabbage Soup
– 3 cups liquid – can be beef, chicken, or vegetable broth or tomato soup
– 2 to 3 cups cabbage, chopped or coarsely shredded
– 1/2 medium onion, chopped
– 1 or 2 carrots, coarsely shredded
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 can of french-style green beans, drained
– 1 can of yellow wax beans, drained
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1/2 teaspoon oregano
– salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, garlic, and carrot together in a deep pot coated with non-stick spray. When they have softened, add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and cook until the cabbage is tender.
variations:add shredded sweet potatoes or zucchini; use three cups of water with three bullion cubes in place of broth or tomato juice; substitute chopped green onions in place of the 1/2 onion; add a teaspoon of basil.
Rich and Hearty Russian Cabbage Soup
This version picks up some additional calories from the meat, but it’s still a healthy dish.
– 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef or loose sweet sausage
– 1 large can diced tomatoes
– 1 can tomato sauce
– 2 quarts beef broth, or 2 quarts water and four boullion cubes
– 2 medium carrots, shredded
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 tablespoons white vinegar
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
– 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
Crumble the sausage or ground beef in a large pot and cook to brown lightly. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and broth or water and bullion cubes. Stir well to combine, then add carrots, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, then add add garlic and cabbage. Continue to simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 more minutes.
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