Purple Cabbage Soup

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I am always looking for new ways to use the same old vegetables. Purple cabbage is a great vegetable to consume, with all of its sulforaphane (follow the preparation steps below to increase this powerful cancer-fighting compound), vitamin C content, and fiber. It is also a good source of potassium and vitamin A. Whether you’ve recently given birth or have been breastfeeding for some time (over 6 months) you’ll want to try your best to consume as many nutrient rich foods as possible. You may also be looking for lower calorie but satisfying foods. Vegetable-based soups are a great option for weight control while nursing or postpartum since you can consume a large quantity for relatively few calories and they are just packed full of nutrients you and your little one need. The liquid also helps keep you full and hydrated, which is especially important for those nursing mothers.

The trick to this soup’s success with acceptance by people of any age, is to puree it until smooth. This not only blends the flavors very well, it reduces a chewy plant food such as cabbage to a lovely creamy texture. While not everyone likes to chomp on whole cabbage slices, a pureed option is easily consumed and the more pungent veggies (purple cabbage and purple onion) are “hidden” in among the other vegetables you include. This soup can be made all in one pot, whether that is your favorite hefty Dutch oven or your Instant Pot, and it will be fairly easy to clean up when done (just the one pot and a blender). You can also feed this to infants consuming soft foods, so it is one dish for everyone in the family to consume as is. Serve it with a big loaf of your favorite crusty bread!

The Recipe

6 cups of washed and shredded cabbage (note: to increase the sulforaphane, chop and let sit for 20-40 minutes to allow this compound to form)

1 cup of diced purple onion

1 cup of diced carrots (look for purple)

2 yellow summer squash, diced (this will help thicken the soup)

32oz low sodium vegetable broth

1/4 tsp each of dried garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, tarragon, parsley, basil

1/8 tsp each of dried safe and celery salt

Salt and pepper to taste

1 vegetable bouillon cube

  1. In your Dutch oven or Instant Pot, sauté the purple onion by using the steam-fry method for 3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add all other chopped veggies and continue to steam-fry for 10 minutes.
  3. If using the Instant pot, close the pot and put on a medium manual cook setting for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release on its own, or use the instant release. It will be cooked enough either way for the next step. If using your Dutch oven, cover with a tight fitting lid and continue to boil over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Add in the seasonings prior to blending. Allow to cool enough to blend, 10 minutes should be enough, but check your blender instructions for hot soups.
  5. Using an immersion blender or standing blender with a vent valve, blend the soup until it is totally creamy and pureed. If it is too liquid, add 1-4 Tbsp of instant potato flakes. Let the soup set up after each tablespoon to assess the texture first before adding more. You do not want to dilute the flavor too much!
  6. Serve hot with a nice gluten free crusty bread for dipping. )For a quick meal, we often toast up some sliced bread and top it with Earth Balance and dried granulated garlic to taste.)

That is it! It is a very delicious soup that will fill you up quickly and last well until your next meal. It can be enjoyed as a full meal in a bowl with bread, or served for a quick snack in a cup. I am a big fan of making warm flax seed meal teas or sipping on thin satisfying soups when I am hungry between meals, and this one is a new favorite of mine.

Food preparation steps to include children in:

  • Your children can easily tear apart or use a child safe knife to cut the cabbage when school-age. If you plan to have them tear it apart, start it by cutting it into quarters and then halving each quarter to make the sizes manageable for little hands. A toddler may struggle to do this, so be ready to help them in you see they become frustrated. Alternatively, if you have a safe chopper and cutting gloves fit your child, you can make small 2″ cubes for them to chop up.
  • Have your children use a small whisk to blend the vegetable bouillon with 1/4 cup of vegetable stock before adding it all to the pot for them.
  • The seasonings are a great way to utilize your little ones fine motor skills. They need to unscrew the lids, steadily hold the measuring spoons while you pour the herbs for them, then tip their little hands into a bowl where all the herbs can be mixed and set aside to add later. This is a great task to do together.
  • Avoid having them close to the stove. Do not let them use the blender when making hot items as the heat can cause bad burns. And only let them use child-safe knives with your direct supervision, removing the knives from their work space whenever you need to have your attention elsewhere for the time being.