Purple Pickled Cabbage Soup
Vibrant and delicious.
500g red cabbage, finely shredded
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Butter or olive oil, for frying
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 apples – cox’s are my choice
1½ tsp caraway seeds
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey or agave syrup
50g walnuts, crumbled
1 small bunch of dill, leaves chopped, fronds reserved for garnishing
4 tbsp sour cream or thick yoghurt
Salt and black pepper
Put the cabbage into a bowl with a good pinch of salt and the red wine vinegar, scrunch together in your hands, then put to one side to pickle.
Warm a little butter or oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery. Sweat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, then slice thickly.
Once the onions are soft and sweet, add the caraway seeds and stir for a minute. Turn the heat up a little, add the apples and ¾ of the cabbage to the onions. Fry for a further 5 minutes, or until the cabbage begins to soften.
Add the stock, balsamic vinegar and honey or agave syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan. Once it’s really hot, add the rest of the cabbage and cook until it’s crisp. For the last couple of minutes add the walnuts and half the dill.
Stir the rest of the dill into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Now, you can leave this as it is, but I like to blitz it to a vibrant purple soup.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top each with the cabbage and walnuts, a spoonful of sour cream or yoghurt and some more dill, if you like.
Image: Issy Crocker