One night last week, I had a dream that I was making a soup with carrots and cabbage. On the one hand, this was a pleasant dream because I absolutely adore cabbage; on the other hand, this was a vexing dream, because I started the soup with carrots, cabbage, and stock but for some reason could not decipher the rest of the recipe. Hmmph! Damned dream, teasing me like that!
I thought about this dream for a couple days and decided that I would make a cabbage soup concoction of some sort this weekend. Then yesterday I woke up with symptoms of a bladder infection (I've been steadily improving ever since), which caused me to consult various holistic healing sources about nutrients that might help ease those symptoms until the doctor's office opened on Monday. Some of the recommended foods were celery and winter squash. Could those be the magic missing ingredients I needed to complete my dream soup? I decided to experiment and find out.
Miraculously, my experimental concoction turned out so well that I thought I'd follow the lead of some of my fellow bloggers and post a photo and the recipe. I tend to cook by feel, especially when I'm making up something based on a dream, so what I'm posting below is more of a guideline than a strict recipe. If anyone out there is brave enough to try it, let me know how it turns out and if you like it.
Adrianne's Dream Soup
- 2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 small-to-medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into approx. 1-inch dice
- 1/3 of a large head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- 4 to 6 cups homemade vegetable stock or other homemade stock (if you cheat and use store-bought stock, please don't tell me!)
- ground turmeric, to taste (I added it a pinch at a time until I thought things looked and tasted right, so I'm not really sure how much I used in total -- my best guess is 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.)
- ground coriander, to taste (my best guess on this one is about 1 to 2 tsps.)
- ground allspice, to taste (I used enough to add interest and complexity to the overall dish without imparting an affirmative allspice flavor -- around 4 or 5 twists of the grinder)
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots and celery and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced squash and saute 2-3 minutes more. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until the squash is slightly tender but not yet cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cabbage and spices and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmering until both the squash and the cabbage reach the desired level of tenderness. As the soup simmers, adjust the amount of stock as needed to achieve desired consistency. When the soup is done, taste for spices and adjust them to your liking. Serve hot with warm, crusty bread.
P.S. This soup is even better the next day -- the spices mingled nicely overnight.