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Sweet-and-sour cabbage soup

January 23, 2008

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Serves 6

Based on the old-fashioned dish of stuffed cabbage, made with tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, and raisins, this hearty soup has all the sweet and sour flavors without the meat.

1/2 large head green cabbage, halved and cored
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
8 cups chicken or beef stock, or more as needed
2 cups V8 juice
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Set a cabbage wedge flat-side down on a cutting board. Cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have about 10 cups of chopped cabbage.

2. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

3. Add the stock, V8 juice, tomatoes, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, raisins, caraway seeds, if using, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until the cabbage is tender. During cooking, add more stock as needed. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. - Adapted from "New England Soup Factory Cookbook"