I recommend you use dried beans. You don’t have to. But you should. Why? Because they’re cheaper than canned, because you should not be making your food in a hurry. If you don’t like to be bothered, you can always make this in a crock pot. Though I doubt it will all fit in one. So don’t do that. Really, bother with it. This soup is so easy on the budget, so wonderfully healing and warming, and stirring soup over the stove for two hours settles nerves, makes you slow down, and if you like you can read a favorite book while you stir, or talk to your pets (or children). Or read them your favorite book. Unless your favorite book is Anna Karenina. No one needs to read that when the fall hours grow dark, unless you have a pack of Galois cigarettes and bitter black coffee at your elbow.
This soup has everything you need in a meal if you can’t pull anything else together. It isn’t heavy but it’s substantial enough to hold you up. The cabbage cooks so long that it becomes unbelievably tender. It’s excellent with some Parmesan and toast.
3 quarts water (or vegetable, beef, or chicken stock)
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
5 med. potatoes of any variety, diced into 1/2? cubes
1 cup navy beans (or 1 can prepared navy beans/northern beans)
1 head of cabbage, cored and chopped to 1? size pieces
2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
In a large soup pot warm the olive oil and add the onion and carrots. Saute them until they begin to brown a little.
Add 3 quarts of water, bring to a boil.
Add everything else. (If you’re using canned beans you can add these near the end).
Cook for a really long time, stirring occasionally and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Keep your eye on the thickness of the soup, the water will cook down and you may need to add a little water from time to time. You want the soup to have some body so add water two cups at a time, as needed.
This soup took two hours to cook. (If you use canned beans it will take only 45 minutes.) The soup is done when the beans are tender.
If you aren’t used to winging it with water quantities in soup then I think you should read my post about soup philosophy. It will help you. Soup is a flexible and incredibly personal dish. There is no soup recipe that can’t be altered to your personal tastes. All soup recipes are merely suggestions. Guidelines. Never be afraid to adjust it.