Cabbage and caraway soup with pickle juice and sour cream

Cabbage and caraway soup with pickle juice and sour cream

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

This is the sort of soup that will take you by surprise. It may not look at all lovely, but one spoonful and I’m fairly sure it is all you will want to eat all winter long. Use the sour brine from shop-bought sour pickled gherkins or cucumbers as the magic ingredient here, giving this hearty soup a beautiful, beguiling taste.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g streaky bacon, cut into 1.5cm strips
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
300g white cabbage, cored and finely sliced
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
salt
freshly ground black pepper
80-100ml pickle juice, or to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sour cream or creme fraiche
a generous pinch paprika, sweet or hot
a small bunch fresh dill, leaves roughly chopped

Method

  1. Fry the bacon in the butter until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and bay leaves, and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and caraway, and cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the stock, season with a bit of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Blend about 2 cupfuls of the soup in a blender and return the blended soup to the pan of unblended soup. Check the seasoning and add the pickle juice, adding still more if you like.
  5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a pinch of paprika and some chopped dill.
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