French Cabbage Soup

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One of my favorite blogs is Morning’s Minion  by a lady from Vermont who retired to live in Kentucky.  Her posts are full of her activities with her cats and her old horse, Pebble, and descriptions of her quilts and their favorite foods.  The other day, she said she had made some French Cabbage soup, which was new to me .  I looked at recipes on the internet and put together different elements along with my own preferences to make this delicious soup with the French kick being the bread and Swiss topping.  I don’t know what recipe my friend in Kentucky used, but this version surely is good.   Homemade chicken broth is best to use, but the kind in a can or box is fine, too.

FRENCH CABBAGE SOUP

  • 3 Tblsp. butter
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (two 14.5 oz. cans)
  • 1 cup potato, raw, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour plus water to make 1 cup
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of sturdy bread
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese, cut on the diagonal
  • Smoked Paprika for sprinkling

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and over medium low heat, saute the onions and carrots until tender.

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Add the chicken broth, potatoes and cabbage.
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Simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 20 minutes until cabbage and potatoes are tender.
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Place flour in a one-cup measure and add enough water to make one cup.  Whisk until smooth and stir this mixture into the soup along with the thyme and salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste before adding salt – some broth is very salty).

Simmer on medium heat for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

When ready to serve, ladle the hot soup into four oven-proof bowls.  Top each bowl with a slice of bread, a piece of Swiss cheese and a sprinkling of paprika.  Place under the broiler to melt and slightly brown the cheese (watch closely so the cheese doesn’t burn).  Serve immediately.

4 servings

I used some of my old standby Italian bread for the topping.  Just right for perching on top of hot soup.

Hearty Cauliflower Soup

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When I was getting ready to fix lunch today, I found three containers of leftovers – steamed cauliflower, mashed potatoes and some carrots from our Sunday roast beef dinner.  I decided to use everything up and make a cauliflower soup which had a great flavor and was thick and substantial.   It made a nice lunch along with a warm roll on a chilly November day.

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP

  • 3 slices bacon
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups steamed cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cooked baby carrots, cut into slices
  • Salt/pepper to taste

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In a large pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crisp.

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Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel.  In the bacon grease, brown the chopped onion until soft.  Add the chicken broth.  Turn up heat to medium-high.

In a small cup, mix together the milk and flour; add to broth mixture.  Add the mashed potatoes and stir or whisk until smooth.  Stir in the cauliflower and carrots.  Continue to cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and hot, stirring occasionally.

Place soup in bowls and sprinkle with reserved bacon which has been crumbled.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

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Mary’s Carrot Cake

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I first tried this recipe in November of 1985 after seeing it in a magazine.  It was supposed to be the recipe of Mary Frann who was the wife on the Bob Newhart show about the country inn in Vermont.  Our family had never tried carrot cake before and we became absolutely addicted to it – this cake and any other carrot cake we could find in restaurants or bakeries.  Then, we got into other things and I haven’t made the cake for a long time, although my youngest daughter did enter it in the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair two years ago.

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My two daughters were here for dinner today and they agreed it’s as good as they remembered.

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MARY'S CARROT CAKE

  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil (I use Canola)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple

Grease and flour one 13×9 pan.  I like to use two small antique tube pans (8″ dia. x 2-3/4″ high) and divide the batter between them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixer bowl, combine oil, sugar and eggs – beat well.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cinnamon, soda, salt and flour.  Add to large mixer bowl and beat well.  Add vanilla, carrots, nuts and pineapple, beating slowly with mixer or by hand to blend.

Pour into prepared pans and bake @ 350 – approximately 50 minutes for the 13×9 pan and 30-40 minutes for the smaller pans.

Let cool on rack and frost with cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • One pound confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

This is an easy cake to make and really good.

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