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A Warm Embrace in a Bowl: Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage

Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage

This recipe isn't just about soup; it's about savoring the essence of comfort in a warm and hearty bowl. Introducing the Warm Embrace in a Bowl: Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage (Under an Hour!). This delectable soup is brimming with smoky sausage, crisp vegetables, and a rich broth – all simmered together in a single pot for a quick and satisfying meal that won't break the bank.

A Celebration of Simple Ingredients:

Gather these everyday ingredients to create your comforting symphony in a pot:

  • Smoked Sausage: (16-ounce package) The star of the show! Choose your favorite smoked sausage, like kielbasa, and slice it into thin pieces for even browning.
  • Fats:
    • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil: (1/2 tablespoon) Heats the pot and aids in browning the sausage.
    • Butter: (1 tablespoon) Adds richness and depth of flavor to the soup base.
  • Vegetables:
    • Carrots: (2, peeled and thinly sliced) Offer pops of sweetness and vibrant orange color.
    • Corn: (2 cobs cut into large chunks) Adds a delightful touch of sweetness and textural contrast.
    • Onion: (1 medium, chopped) Provides the base for savory flavors.
    • Garlic: (2 cloves, minced) Brings a pungent kick that mellows during simmering.
    • Cabbage: (1 small head, chopped) The leafy green foundation of the soup! Use green cabbage for a classic flavor, or experiment with other varieties like Savoy cabbage for a milder taste.
  • Broth and Seasonings:
    • Chicken Broth: (14.5-ounce can) Forms the flavorful liquid base of the soup.
    • Water: (1 1/2 cups) Thins the broth to your desired consistency.
    • Chicken Bouillon Cube: (1) Adds an extra layer of savory depth.
    • Brown Sugar: (1 tablespoon packed) Balances the savory flavors with a subtle touch of sweetness.
    • Black Pepper: (1/2 teaspoon) Provides a pleasant kick of warmth.
    • Caraway Seeds: (1/4 teaspoon, optional) Offer a licorice-like flavor, adding complexity to the soup (experiment to see if you enjoy the taste).
    • Dried Thyme: (1/4 teaspoon) Infuses the soup with a subtle herbal aroma.
  • Creamy Touch (Optional):
    • Heavy Cream: (1/3 cup) Adds a touch of richness and creaminess to the finished soup, creating a more luxurious texture.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Soul-Warming Comfort:

Follow these simple instructions to create your perfect Warm Embrace in a Bowl in under an hour:

  1. Sizzling Symphony: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced smoked sausage and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate.
  2. Softening the Base: Melt the butter in the drippings left behind in the Dutch oven. Once melted, add the carrots, onion, and corn. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften and become translucent. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Aromatic Touch: Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Introducing the Cabbage: Add the chopped cabbage to the pot and stir to combine with the softened vegetables. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cabbage starts to wilt slightly.
  5. Building the Broth: Pour in the chicken broth, water, and crumbled chicken bouillon cube. Season with black pepper, caraway seeds (if using), and dried thyme. For a gentle simmer, bring the mixture to a boil first. Then, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 15 minutes without a rolling boil.
  6. Potato Power: After 15 minutes of simmering, add the diced potatoes to the soup. Continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  7. Sausage Returns: Once the potatoes are cooked through, welcome the browned sausage slices back to the pot. Stir gently to combine and heat through for a couple of minutes.
  8. Creamy Dream (Optional): For a richer and creamier soup, stir in the heavy cream and heat it through for an additional minute. You can adjust the amount of cream to your desired level of richness.
    • Pro Tip: If you don't have heavy cream on hand, you can substitute with an equal amount of milk mixed with a tablespoon of melted butter.
  9. Seasoning Symphony: Give your soup a final taste test and adjust the seasonings as needed. You might want to add a pinch more salt or black pepper to enhance the overall flavor profile.
  10. Serving with Flair: Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. Freshly chopped parsley, a dollop of sour cream, or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese are all excellent options.

Tips for a Triumphant Soup:

  • Don't Overcook the Cabbage: Cabbage cooks quickly, so be mindful of the cooking time. Overcooked cabbage can become mushy and lose its pleasant texture. Aim for a slightly tender but still crisp bite.
  • Customize Your Broth: Feel free to experiment with different broths! Vegetable broth creates a vegetarian option, while beef broth adds a richer depth of flavor.
  • Leftovers Love You: This soup reheats beautifully, making it a great meal prep option. To ensure freshness, store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. the soup will retain its great taste for up to 3 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.
  • Spice it Up (Optional): For a touch of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a chopped fresh chili pepper while cooking the vegetables.
  • Embrace the Smoky Goodness: If you love a stronger smoky flavor, consider using smoked paprika or liquid smoke in addition to the smoked sausage.

So ditch the takeout menus and embrace the warmth and comfort of a homemade soup! This Warm Embrace in a Bowl: Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage is a simple, satisfying, and budget-friendly meal that's perfect for any chilly night.