2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small ham steak, to be chopped
2 carrots, to be chopped
1 medium onion, to be chopped
1 celery rib with its greens, to be chopped
1 leek, to be cleaned and sliced into half-moons
4 garlic cloves, to be minced
1 large shallot, to be finely chopped
1 small head of cabbage, to be cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
Coarse black pepper
1 bottle red Bordeaux wine, for the chef and the last few swallows of soup!
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the soup fixins to the pot as you chop them: ham, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, and shallots.
Add the cabbage to the pot and sprinkle with the sugar and salt.
Add 2 cups water and cover the pot. Steam the cabbage for 15 minutes. Uncover the pot and add the stock and beans. Crank the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer. Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread, and don't forget to down the last few swallows with your trusty Bordeaux!
This soup has great flavors. It may not be for you if you don't like cabbage, but I really like it. I don't think my DH liked it very much. He didn't want me to have wine in it either, so after a taste of it with the wine, I just ate it plain. It was still good, but not as good. I changed the recipe to say "to be chopped" for the veggies so I wouldn't go ahead and chop everything first; because the recipe says to add it as you chop it.
Rachael Ray says: "The restaurant La Tupina in Bordeaux, France, serves a soup that's slow cooked for four hours. The last few delicious spoonfuls are combined with red wine and swallowed back. These are my kind of people! This is an adaptation my way, minus three hours and thirty minutes. This peasant can't wait!"