Today I was wandering around over in Mount Pleasant at Boone Hall Farms. They are known for having local seasonal food. I found some beautiful cabbage that was very reasonable because it was grown right there on the farm.
Since I was in the mood for some beefy cabbage soup, I stopped at my regular market and picked up a pound of lean ground beef. That’s about all I needed to buy since I had everything else in my pantry at home.
This particular soup, unlike a lot of my soup recipes, is not my mother’s, but I remember her telling me that her grandmother would make cabbage, beef, and kidney bean soup when she was a child. There is just something so comforting about this warm the body and the soul soup. And, believe me, it is still cold enough here to enjoy it.
The recipe is very versatile. I wanted it a little more beefy than tomato flavored but if you want more tomato flavor just add less water and more tomato. If you want it thicker, just add less water, and add a little less cabbage. If you want to use beef broth instead of beef granules, then that will work just fine also. Just use what you have in your pantry.
My ingredients made a huge pot of soup; 15 cups in fact. And, I still had a little leftover after I ate it for supper- just joking; I had a lot left over. For storing the remaining soup, I used several of my one pint canning jars then put them in the freezer. When I want soup, I can take out a jar and let it thaw in the fridge and then heat it, or I can take the lid off and warm it in the microwave. If you have an instant read thermometer, heat the soup to a temperature of 165º to be on the safe side.
However you make it, I hope that you will enjoy it.
1 pound lean ground beef or ground sirloin
1 cup onion
1 large garlic clove (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 pounds cabbage, chopped into bite size pieces
6 cups water
2 tablespoons beef granules (or replace water above with beef broth)
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or to taste
1 12 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons catsup (this gives the tomatoes some sweetness)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans No Salt Added diced tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Pepper to taste
Spray a large, non-reactive pot with cooking spray. Add the onion and ground beef and sauté until the beef is brown. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer covered for about an hour. Makes 15 cups.
By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs
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