Carolyn’s Online Magazine
CELEBRATE WORLD CABBAGE DAY
WITH SOUP & INFORMATION
Live life like a Cabbage
Live close to the Earth,
keep your head down
and stay out of trouble.
I ask you, What Do You Know About Cabbage? A Quiz. (click on the link to take the quiz.)
CABBAGE ROLLS, ANYONE?
If you were in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on Sunday it would have been easy to find a cabbage for your February 17th dinner Cabbage heads were rolling all over Interstate 95.
The January 31, 2016, event wasn’t a practice event for the World Cabbage Day celebration. A tractor-trailer full of cabbage veered off the left side of the road, over-corrected, then overturned at 10:15 a. m., spilling its slaw and salad staple items to roll where they might.
If you didn’t get one of the free-rolling cabbages it’s time to get to the grocery store so you won’t be cabbage-free on February 17th.
The cabbage-rollover accident in North Carolina wasn’t the first incident of its ilk. On September 1, 2015, a truck overturned on an interstate highway in New York.
THE CABBAGE FAMILY’S ABBREVIATED GENEALOGY
Like human beings and other of God’s creatures, cabbage is a member of a family, Cruciferae, a name derived from the cross-shape of its blossoms. More specifically, the cabbage branch of the family belongs to the genus and species Brassica olerocea.
Its English (nick)name, cabbage, is likely derived from the Picard dialect of the Old French word ‘caboche’, which means head.
Just like human families the Brassica section of the family member is diverse. Its extended family includes cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, and kale. Immediate cabbage family members have unique characteristics. Their compact layering of stiff leaves form a globular shape. Some of them mature early, in a little over 40 days. However, this branch of the family is smaller than the late maturing branch, which takes almost 90 days to reach maturity.
There are three main varieties in the cabbage family: red, green, and Savoy. The leaves on the green variety vary in color from a pale shade to a dark green. The leaves on the red variety range from purple to crimson and have white veins running through their leaves. The leaves on the red and green variety have a smooth texture, while those of the Savoy are more ruffled.
All three varieties grow well in cooler climates, and yield hefty harvests. They store well, making it a favored food. Cabbage family members also offer humans great nutritional value and significant medicinal value.
THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO COOK CABBAGE
From all of the cooking methods we tried when cooking cabbage, our favorite is Healthy Sauté. We think that it provides the greatest flavor and is also a method that allows for concentrated nutrient retention.
To Healthy Sauté cabbage, heat 5 TBS of broth (vegetable or chicken) or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add shredded cabbage, cover, and Healthy Sauté for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2 more minutes before transferring to a bowl and tossing with Mediterranean Dressing. (See our 5-Minute Healthy Sautéed Red Cabbage recipe for details on how to prepare this dish.) Ginger is a great addition to your Healthy Sautéed cabbage; you can also add rice vinegar and sesame seeds.
Below are two soup recipes, Krautsuppe and Old Country Sauerkraut Soup. Soup is a great comfort food for the cold days of February, therefore an apt meal to celebrate World Cabbage Day.
CABBAGE SOUP (Krautsuppe)
Cabbage (Kraut) is recognized by most people as a typical element of German cooking. Although sauerkraut is likely the most familiar use of cabbage, it is widely used in most German kitchens. This delicious soup is another example of German cabbage cuisine.
This simple German cabbage soup recipe has a truly traditional flavor.
- 1 head of Cabbage
- 3 slices of Bacon
- 2 medium White Onions
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- 3 cups Vegetable or Chicken broth (homemade or from bouillon)
- 3 cups Water
- 3 large Carrots (yellow carrots if available)
- 2 large Russet Potatoes
- 1 stalk of Celery
- 3 Sprigs of Parsley
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Clean and shred Cabbage
Peel and slice Onions and Garlic In soup pot, lightly fry finely-cut Bacon Lightly saute Onion and Garlic with Bacon in soup pot Add Broth and Water to soup pot
Wash and slice Carrots and Celery Peel and dice Potatoes Add Cabbage, Carrots, Potato, Celery, Parsley and Bay Leaf to soup pot Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours
Remove Parsley and Bay Leaf Salt and Pepper to taste Serve —more German recipes
HISTORY OF CABBAGE
It’s believed cabbage’s origins lie in north China, Pots holding cabbages dating as far back as 4,000 B.C. have been discovered in China’s Shensi province. These ancient people thought of it as a ‘cooling’ food in the yin and yang concept.
The ancient Romans loved cabbage. Cato recommended consumption of vinegar soaked cabbage before embarking on the excessive use of alcohol. The standard Roman hangover remedy was to eat more cabbage.
In addition to being a food source for Caesar’s armies, soldier’s wounds were bound with cabbage leaves to help reduce infection.
Before cabbage was bred into today’s familiar form the conquering Romans introduced it into Europe, where it caught on fast and became a popular food item because it added nutrition value to the rural residents scanty diet, it was easily cultivated, and it produced a large harvest in a short growing season.
The 17th and 18th century explorers carried cabbage in their ship’s stores for their crews diet. Its high Vitamin C content helped stave off the scurvy sailors commonly had.
A pickled form of the vegetable was popular in Europe. The French from the Alsace area named it ‘Choucroute’ (sauerkraut). More
OLD COUNTRY SAUERKRAUT SOUP
If all soups were as flavorful as this Old Country Sauerkraut Soup, we’d be in heaven! Taking cues from traditional German cooking, this awesome soup recipe features smoked sausage, sauerkraut and a tasty blend of spices. Wow your family this season with a delicious and hearty soup so good they’ll be begging for seconds!
- 1 pound smoked sausage in a large link, casing left on
- 6 tablespoons onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, rounded
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 can (8-ounce) sauerkraut, with juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Chop the sausage coarsely by hand or in a food processor.
Transfer the chopped sausage and onion to a deep pan and saute over medium heat until the sausage is lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
On a small plate or wax paper, combine the flour, thyme and pepper. Add to the sausage and brown all together until the mixture bubbles up, about 5 minutes.
Add the milk and half and half all at once and cook, stirring until the mixture again bubbles up, about 5 minutes.
Add the sauerkraut and its juice and bring to a boil. The mixture will continue to thicken. Taste for tartness and add lemon juice if desired.
Add parsley, and serve at once. —More German recipesIn the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon. —Carl Sandburg