December 10th, 2008

8 Days Of Happy Meme: Day 3

Today I am sick with whatever crud has been circulating, so I'm not at all well - but have decided that when I'm sick, potato soup makes me happy. Especially on a day that has been bombarded with rain, facing a tomorrow with a 100% chance of more throughout the day again. Which means that despite feling ill, I'm getting out my soup pot tomorrow and making Veselka’s cabbage soup. Veselka is a Ukranian restaurant in NYC's East Village. I learned about it from my favorite foodblog, smittenkitchen.com.

Soup is a comfort food in my opinion, and it is best when made from scratch at home. It's soothing for whatever ails you when you need it, especially on cold, rainy, sick days like I'm sure tomorrow will be as well. I love cabbage, I love sauerkraut, and the mere idea of this one makes my mouth water. Best of all, you can make a lot of this relatively cheaply, and make a double batch for the freezer so on those cold, rainy days like I'm experiencing here, when you want something good and satisfying to eat but don't feel well enough to do the work for it, the defrost feature on your microwave will take care of that for you.

Photo credit: Smitten Kitchen
Veselka’s Cabbage Soup
Courtesy of New York Magazine

1 pound pork butt, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
4 cups water
3 allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 cup sauerkraut, plus around 4 tablespoons juice
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, minced
3 stalks celery, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups fresh cabbage, shredded thin

(1) Place the pork in a medium stockpot with the chicken stock, water, allspice, bay leaves, and marjoram. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate to cool. Skim fat from stock, leaving a few “eyes” of fat for flavor. Add sauerkraut and simmer for 20 minutes.

(2) Add potato and simmer for 5 minutes.

(3) Add the carrots, celery, onion, and cabbage and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pork and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sauerkraut juice. Serves 6 to 8.