As the temperature drops, we all get a little more in the mood for soup. It's been moderately warm in DC over the past couple of days, but tonight the temperature is slowly moving down and I'm craving a big, steaming bowl of thick soup to keep me going.
I received a Jamie Oliver cookbook for my birthday from my dearest mom, who always knows what I love. It was the one titled "Jamie at Home". I love Jamie Oliver. His recipes are so simple, and highlight the flavors of each ingredient in the dish. Simple, British cooking at its finest.
Jamie's recipe for Bread and Cabbage Soup with Sage Butter caught my eye last night, so I ran to the store and got the ingredients to make a big pot.
To make this lovely soup, you will need:
2 quarts of good vegetable or chicken stock (or if you're lazy, bullion works fine)
1 bunch of Savoy cabbage
A small bunch of kale
6 strips of bacon or pancetta
1 small tin of anchovies
4 sprigs of thyme
14-16 slices of rustic bread, all toasted but 4-5
1 clove of garlic, cut in half
A good hunk of Fontina val d'Aosta, or a nice Gruyere or aged cheddar
Grated parmigiano reggiano
A couple of tablespoons of butter
A couple of sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
To begin, heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Heat your stock on the stove until it boils. In the meantime, wash and dry your kale and cabbage and roughly chop. When the stock reaches boiling, add your greens and let them cook for a few minutes until they are soft. Remove the greens to a large bowl.
In a dutch oven or other stovetop/oven casserole dish, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Chop your bacon or pancetta into large chunks. Add the bacon and anchovies to the pan, and when the bacon gets nice and brown, turn off the heat and add the thyme. Cook for a minute more, and then add the cabbage. Toss to coat each piece of cabbage and put the whole lot back into the bowl.
Toast your bread slices in the toaster and, when they're hot, rub down one side with the garlic clove. This will give the bread a nice garlicky flavor without the pieces floating around the soup. Make sure to leave a few pieces untoasted as they will crisp up in the oven.
Lay down one layer of bread and then add some of your cabbage/bacon mixture on top, followed with some grated cheddar or Fontina and parmigiano. You can layer this as many times as you want. I only did two layers of the bread and cabbage. Put your untoasted bread on the top layer. Grate the rest of your cheese on the top, add some parmigiano, a bit of olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper.
Pop your dish into the oven for 30 minutes until the top is a lovely golden brown. Meanwhile, heat some butter on the stove and fry a couple of sage leaves in it until they are crispy to top your soup with.
And you're done! Look at you, you little chef. Salty, rich and hearty, this dish hits the spot on a cold night, and is fairly easy to make. My man Jamie is definitely all he's hyped up to be.