I forget which rabbit hole I jumped into but I somehow landed on a cabbage soup diet recipe online a couple of days ago. Although being on a diet while maintaining a food blog is the height of tragedy, it seemed like a good idea because I just got back from Beijing where I downed dumplings and duck with abandon. It’s only my second day today so this review is probably a little premature but this is yummy and doable – I actually look forward to having/making the soup and I don’t feel like dying. And I’m not even following the eating plan! It’s all soup and the occasional apple when I want something sweet.
For my first batch of cabbage soup, I pretty much followed the recipe above minus the onion soup mix and V8. It still turned out delicious. It’s really like an all-veg minestrone, something I would eat even if I wasn’t on a diet. My only problem was the bouillon. No doubt, it gave the soup a lot of flavor but the finish was very greasy. After having a bowl, my mouth and lips felt heavy and oily. This morning, I was grazing over a serving while doing radio and I actually witnessed the fat eventually congeal…on my spoon. Pretty gross not to mention counterintuitive since the point of this diet is to get rid of the grease that squats in my body.
For my second batch, I attempted to remedy this by using beef Dashida. My mom uses it to flavor her soups and a host of other Korean dishes and I’ve never felt that greasy finish in her food before. I also used V8 this time to bump up the flavors of my cabbage soup.
My recipe for diet cabbage soup looked like this:
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
1 medium green bell pepper
3 fresh local tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used the ones with basil, oregano and garlic for even more flavor)
1 head medium cabbage
2 large stalks leeks
2 cans 5.5 fl.oz. low-sodium V8
1 T Italian seasoning
water as needed
beef Dashida to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. All the vegetables have to be chopped into bite-size pieces. I sauteed my mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) to start. This is not in the recipe but I read somewhere that you need some fat to absorb the nutrients in your vegetables + I wanted my mirepoix to caramelize a little bit. So I opted for a healthy fat, extra virgin olive oil, and sauteed until I saw some browning. This not only brings out the vegetables’ natural sugars which this soup needs because of the acidity of the tomatoes, it will also deepen the flavor of my soup.
2. When the mirepoix is browned, add in canned diced tomatoes along with the chopped fresh tomatoes and green bell peppers. Canned tomato in any form tends to taste tinny so I usually try to cook that off in the pan, for about 3 minutes.
3. When done, add in chopped cabbage and leeks. Don’t worry about the cabbage, it will cook down. Pour in the 2 cans of V8 and add more water until all the vegetables are submerged. Add in Italian seasoning, beef Dashida, salt. Grind in some black pepper. Stir to mix everything thoroughly. Bring to a boil then let simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
And here it is, my diet cabbage soup. Doesn’t it look delish??
That’s coz it is! The V8 makes for a thicker consistency which, I guess, is good news for me and the beef Dashida lends a much cleaner finish to the soup.
Will keep you guys posted on how the diet goes. I need to go now and blow off some steam. I am very cross because this morning, while walking home with more fresh vegetables for my soup, I saw that a new branch of Bread Talk is opening very near me. Like it isn’t hard enough that there’s a can of nori and wasabi-coated peanuts in my room that constantly calls out to me.
Fun Food Fact: A cup of raw cabbage only has 15 calories which makes it an ideal diet food.