This soup is one I make often. In Portugal, soup is king, and there are many recipes and variations of this one.
A popular name for this soup is sopa Juliana, but since I have made a few alterations, it is simply my cabbage soup. You can make this vegetarian by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable stock and leaving out the bacon. It is one of my favourite soups and, being Portuguese, we always have some soup in the fridge... perfect for when hunger strikes at midnight during a Netflix watchathon.
Portuguese Cabbage & Carrot Soup ❦ Sopa de Repolho e Cenoura
Makes about 10 (200 ml.) servings
Takes 40 minutes
2.500 ml. of water
300 g. Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
400 g. Onion, peeled and quartered
500 g. Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Savoy cabbage, outer leaves only. Peel until you have about 8-10 leaves. Discard inner core that's white in colour. Leave whole.
1 Small leek, white part only, sliced
1 Clove of garlic, peeled and can be left whole
1 Bay leaf
2 Smoked bacon rashers, whole
2 Chicken stock cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to serve*
In a large stock pot, add all ingredients except cabbage leaves.
Place the cabbage leaves on top, cover and let simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove cabbage leaves to a plate and reserve, leaving 1 or 2 behind to finish cooking with rest of soup, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes more.
When potatoes and carrots are tender, discard bay leaf and fish out a few carrots. These will be cut up with the reserved cabbage and added back to pot after you puree soup.
Puree soup until smooth. Taste for salt. I usually do not need to add salt, as bacon and stock cubes season it perfectly.
Cut reserved cabbage and slice carrots. Add back to purred soup along with any juices that have accumulated in the plate.
Ladle into bowls with a generous swirl of extra virgin olive oil and some fresh crusty bread.
Keeps well in fridge for up to 4 days and freezes beautifully for up to 3 months.
*In Portugal, the olive oil is often added while the soup cooks, or to the entire pot after it is ready. I never do this as the beneficial properties of this liquid gold are lost when heated.