Dew Drop Cabbage, White Bean & Potato Soup

Dew Drop Cabbage, White Bean & Potato Soup

Emily Balducci Feb 5 , 2018

Caraflex (cone or tear-drop shaped) cabbage has long been favored by Europeans and is now growing in popularity here. It’s been specially cultivated to have a more tender texture and sweeter flavor than standard cabbage varieties. Small-farm, locally-grown Caraflex crops were sometimes available at Baldor but, as a commodity vegetable, it was never consistent and never year-round. Until now.

Tanimura and Antle (familiarly known as T & A) in Salinas, California, is growing petite sized Caraflex heads called Dew Drop Cabbage - exceptionally easy to source, store and prepare. Because they are small, they fit nicely in your produce crisper. Because a whole head fits in the palm of your hand, you can slice or shred them easily. The curved configuration gives you leaves that peel off neatly in one curved sheet – making the perfect wrap enclosure. And, finally, Dew Drop cabbage has a shelf life of at least 21 days.

For a hearty, bitter-free cabbage soup in the European tradition, try this cold weather comfort soup featuring T & A Dew Drop Cabbage.

¼ cup Barbera Sicilian e.v. oil

2 oz. Lioni pancetta, chopped  

2 slices La Quercia American prosciutto, shredded

1 lg. sweet onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Sea salt to taste

4-6 small potatoes, (any combination of marble potatoes, fingerling, or small new potatoes) cut into ¼ inch chunks

1 pint ripe grape, pear or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 heads Dew Drop Cabbage, coarsely chopped

2 bay leaves, cracked in half

2 cans (15.5 0Z) cannellini or kidney beans, drained

freshly ground black pepper 

freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large Dutch oven. Cook pancetta until it just starts to color. Add prosciutto, onions, carrot, celery, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add potato chunks and let saute 2 minutes more. Throw in cabbage and add water (or any combination of water, chicken/vegetable/beef broth) to cover ingredients by 3 inches or so (pot should be about three quarters full).  Add bay leaves, stir, and bring contents to a boil. Lower heat slightly until bubbling and gently cook soup about 20 minutes more. Add canned beans and continue simmering 15 minutes more until soup is thickened and flavors are blended. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and peppers.

Ladle into heated bowls, sprinkling with more grated pepper, Parmigiano and a little extra virgin olive, if desired.  Serve with toasted or grilled slabs of crusty peasant bread.Yields 8-10 servings

** If you want a heartier version of this soup, you can leave out prosciutto and substitute with chorizo.  Slice 3 small chorizo links into ¼ inch thick slices and add to pot together with onions, carrot and celery. Let cook and color with other ingredients before you throw potatoes in.  

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