Monday, October 17, 2011

Scandinavian Vegetable Soup - A Revival?

Some of my mother's family was Swedish.  As a thoroughgoing fan of genealogical diversity, I relish this Scandinavian connection.  Perhaps that is part of the reason why some years ago I took to the Scandinavian soup recipe that is the third installment of this four-part adventure in American cooking.

In the name of full disclosure, I must confess that this recipe did not come through a long family.  Instead, it came through that stalwart aid of American gastronomy: a cookbook.  Specifically, this recipe came from Mr. Food Cooks Like Mama, a book I think my brother received for his high school graduation.  I have no idea if anyone in Scandinavia actually eats anything like this - I don't remember seeing it during my short visit there, though I was mostly living on bread and cheese at that point - nor do I have a shred of proof that any of my ancestors ever made anything of the sort.  Still, it is a possibility my over-active imagination is willing to entertain.  And the version we make is a tasty meal, particularly when the weather gets cooler.

Scandinavian Vegetable Soup

1/2 c. butter or vegetable oil (or some combination thereof - I usually go half and half)
1 Tbsp wet garlic
2 c. chopped cabbage, or half a head, or whatever you have laying around
1 chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery, or as much as you have (because what else can you put it in before it gets floppy?)
1 c. frozen peas
2 c. thin-sliced carrots 
2 cans creamed corn
3 c. milk
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme
2 c. cubed cheese (you can shred it, but why bother, when it's just going to melt?)

In a very large pot, saute garlic, cabbage, onion, celery, peas and carrots in butter/oil until tender (usually 10-15 minutes).  Add corn, milk, pepper, and thyme.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add cheese, stirring until melted.  Serve.

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