Winter is snowmen, snow angels, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating. Winter is flush red cheeks and crackling logs blazing bright in the fireplace. Winter is an excuse to drink hot chocolate. And winter is time to make soup! On cold winter days, the delicious aroma of simmering soup warms the spirit as well as the body.
Here in the Adirondacks, below-zero temps are a normal part of winter life – and a hot bowl of hearty homemade soup is highly appreciated. Coming in from a day of outdoor fun, soup warms you up from the inside out. When you’re chilled to the bone, there’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup to warm you up! Simmering on top of the stove, a pot of soup creates steam, adding humidity and warmth to dry winter days.
What’s your favorite soup? Creamy – or brothy? Chunky – or smooth? There are so many ways to make soup!
Mom’s Barley Cabbage Soup
1 quart water
Beef bone or chicken thigh
1/2 cup barley
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2-3 grains allspice
2 – 3 peppercorns
1 large or 2 small carrots
1 or 2 potatoes
1 large or 2 small parsnips
1 stalk celery
1/4 – 1/2 small head green or red cabbage
In large soup kettle, place 1 quart of water, the beef bone or chicken thigh, 1/2 cup barley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 bay leaf and a couple grains of allspice. Bring to a boil and cook 30 minutes or longer.
While stock is cooking, prepare vegetables. Wash and slice carrots, potatoes, celery and parsnips. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, core and cut the cabbage. Remove chicken thigh, let cool, and add the vegetables to the pot. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook another 20 minutes.
Cool the meat or bones enough to handle and remove the meat from the bone. Return meat to the pot. Cook another 15 minutes or so.
Serve warm in bowls with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkling of Parmesan, or just “as is”.