I wanted to add, ‘and Dill’, to the title. But the soup’s name is already too long. Like it thinks it’s royal or something. It’s just that the dill makes it better. As does the caraway. Not to mention the cabbage. And the potatoes are creamy and good – starchy and carby, true – but good. Aaaannd of course it wouldn’t really be what it is without the leeks. My point is, all of these components together work and become a bowl of soup more than just the sum of its parts.
Dill always makes me feel like summer. So much so, that I tend to not cook with it at other times of the year. Like white shoes before Memorial Day. “This recipe has dill in it! I can’t make it in January!” Even if I do have a pot of dill on my windowsill. It’s just too summery of a flavoring. Fresh and green and grass-like. Which is to say, not wintery-like at all.
And that is just silly-talk, right? Of course you can and should use dill any time of the year. Out, out, ridiculous thoughts. But should you eat soup when it’s hot outside? (And inside, because you’re the only one in Southern California without central air). Perhaps I didn’t eat soup much in the summertime in those Minnesota years, because it was cold so much of the time that the couple of months out of the year when it was actually warm – HOT, even – I could do without soup, or if I simply had to – I had some gazpacho. Now, though, I’m in Southern California and it’s not cold all that often, and since I love soup, I eat it all year long. I do tend to refrain when it’s over 95 degrees, but other than that, pretty much all the time. I like soup for lunch and dinner. Sometimes on the same day. Sometimes, the same soup.
So this is a summer-herb flavored, hot soup that is good any day you want to have it. Spring, summer, winter, fall. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every meal’s a winner. (Remember that jingle? Anybody…anybody??).
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 to 3 Leeks, thinly sliced (about 2 cups which was about 14 ounces)
- 1 1/2 pounds small white potatoes, small dice
- 4 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 10 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon Caraway seeds, crushed a bit (smashing with the end of a rolling pin works well)
- 5 cups vegetarian chicken broth* (see notes)
- 1 cup milk - whole or 2% will work
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 or 2 sprigs fresh Dill, chopped (2 tablespoons) - plus a little more for serving
- Salt to taste
- White Pepper if you have it, but Black Pepper is fine, too
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan and saute the leeks until soft and transparent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Try not to let them brown.
Stir in the cabbage and the caraway seeds and cook for a minute or two.
Add the vegetarian chicken broth and potatoes, and very lightly sprinkle with salt if your broth isn't too salty. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender.
Turn down the heat to low and add the milk and the dill.
Continue to heat over low until the milk has heated through. Once the milk has heated, add the cheese in globs and stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup.
Serve with more dill sprinkled on top.
You could certainly use vegetable broth in this - your own or off the shelf. I don't make my own (consistently) and really prefer a more chicken-like broth for this particular recipe, as opposed to vegetable-y. I came across a vegetarian chicken broth called Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth, by Imagine Natural Creations and recommend it. I also like Better Than Bouillon's No Chicken Bouillon.
When 5 servings, Per Serving:
Calories from fat: 101
Total Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 7g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 43g
Dietary Fiber: 6g
Net Carbs: 37g