I never know what the hell to do with cabbage. The options always seem to be cole slaw (which I don’t ever want or feel like an entire cabbage worth of), sour kraut (see cole slaw), or some sort of cabbage salad, usually involving ramen noodles (which I like, but only sometimes).
Today I found myself with a cute little organic cabbage in my refrigerator, but not much else. I also had some baked tofu and some carrots, and after looking in the fridge a million times, I had an idea for a soup. Somewhere in my brain lived this soup – a light tomato base, with sweet and sour and spicy flavorings. I can’t think of where I might have tasted something like this in the past, but there it was. Who was I to argue? It used the damn cabbage, didn’t it?
I’m really pleased with the results. It’s a really comforting, warming winter soup. If you have extra ingredients on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini, feel free to add them in. I gave it a billion grinds of black pepper to finish it, and it really brought everything together. Seasoned rice vinegar is the sour flavor here, but if you only have regular rice vinegar, you can make a substitution as follows: One cup of seasoned rice vinegar is the same as 3/4 cup white rice vinegar plus 1/4 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons salt. That’s what the internet told me, I haven’t tried it myself!
Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup
1 Tbs Oil
1 Small Onion, minced
1 Small Cabbage, about the size of a grapefruit
2 Large Carrots, chopped
1 15oz Can Tomatoes, blended smooth
6 Cups Water
1 Cup Cubed Pressed, Baked Tofu (like wildwood baked)
1/4 Cup Tamari, low sodium
1/3 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar (see note on substituting above)
1 tsp Hot Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
Black Pepper, to taste (a lot!)
Heat a large 5 qt soup pot that has a heavy lid over medium heat. Add oil and onion, and saute until golden. Meanwhile, quarter your cabbage, remove the core, and shred the cabbage with a large chef’s knife. Add carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and water to the pot and stir well. Add the tofu, tamari, vinegar, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage and carrots are the desired tenderness.
Grind a lot of fresh black pepper over the top and serve.