This is a Graham recipe, and made with what we usually have on hand in the winter months. Obviously it’s very important to us to eat what’s local and seasonal, and now that we don’t have a garden in Gothenburg, we’ve been sticking to buying Swedish produce.
These vegetables – cabbage, carrots, potatoes – are all stored over winter, filling the hungry gap, and are more useful than ever in late winter before fresh produce starts appearing. With a little seasoning, otherwise plain cold-weather vegetables can really shine.
With lentils, canned tomatoes, and just a bit of pasta, it’s a delicious, hearty soup. If you like cabbage, you’ll love this.
- Cabbage: use white cabbage unless it’s not available. Red cabbage has a distinctly different flavour and will also dye to soup an unpleasant reddish brown.
- Onion and Garlic: a smallish onion, about 60g (~1/3 cup chopped) and just one clove of garlic.
- Carrots: no need to peel! I never do.
- Potatoes: choose a firm cooking variety if possible and not a starchy type.
- Red Wine: or balsamic vinegar if you don’t have wine.
- Canned Tomatoes: preferably diced. Adjust the salt used if the tomatoes have salt added.
- Vegetable Broth: or water. If you season correctly, it’s perfectly fine to use water here.
- Lentils: black, green, or brown. Don’t use red lentils for this recipe.
- Pasta: any short or small type. We’ve used broken up lasagne noodles in a pinch but they tend to stick together. Use GF pasta if needed.
- Herbs and Spices: herbes de Provence or thyme, hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Step by Step
Notes and Substitutions
The wine adds an extra element of savoury flavour and shouldn’t be left out unless necessary. If you can’t consume any alcohol at all, then use a splash of vinegar as suggested in the recipe and increase the broth or water slightly. Balsamic is ideal as it has a similar flavour.
Fresh tomatoes can be used in an equal amount. I haven’t tried this as cabbage and tomatoes aren’t in season at the same time, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
This soup stores well if you cook the pasta separately or omit it. The pasta, as usual, will absorb more of the broth the longer it sits, and turn into a thick stew rather than a soup. If you know you’ll have leftovers, cook the pasta separately and add to the soup when serving.
If you prefer to use soaked lentils, no change to the recipe is needed. Simply add as instructed and don’t reduce the liquid content.
The herbs are added at the end of the cooking time because they lose most of their flavour if cooked too long. If you add them too early by mistake, you can make it up by adding a bit extra at the end.
More Winter Soups
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Cabbage Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 medium carrots sliced (~1 cm rounds)
- 2 medium potatoes chopped (~3cm)
- ¼ white cabbage roughly shredded
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 50 ml red wine
- 400 grams canned diced tomatoes
- 800 ml water or vegetable broth
- 120 grams green lentils
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons herbes de provence
- 70 grams whole grain pasta
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the pot is heated, add the olive oil.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes.1 medium onion, 1 clove garlic
- Add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for about five minutes, until softened slightly. They'll cook through once the liquid is added.2 medium carrots, 2 medium potatoes
- Add the cabbage, hot pepper flakes, and salt, and cook for another five minutes, then deglaze with the red wine.1/4 white cabbage, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 50 ml red wine
- Stir in the canned tomatoes. The water or broth used is equivalent to two cans-full from the tomatoes, so you can simply fill the can twice and measure that way. Add the water or broth.400 grams canned diced tomatoes, 800 ml water or vegetable broth
- Cover and increase the heat to high to bring the soup to a boil. Add the lentils. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.120 grams green lentils
- Taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Stir in the herbs and black pepper. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons herbes de provence, 70 grams whole grain pasta
- Taste again (pasta will absorb a significant amount of salt) and serve. Leftovers keep well, but are best with the pasta cooked separately if you plan on storing. Refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to a month in a sealed container.