Snow is in the forecast here in Wisconsin, which means it's Soup Season!
I love soups and stews, so I prepare large batches that I divide into smaller servings that I freeze to have on hand all Winter long. French Cabbage Soup is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Even people who insist they do not like cabbage, love this soup.
Below is the recipe exactly as I make it, but you can modify it to lower it's fat content by substituting EVOO or coconut oil for some of the butter, smoked turkey sausage instead of pork keilbasa, and omit the bacon. However, I can not vouch for the flavor if you do this since it's the fat and smokiness that makes this soup so delicious.
French Cabbage Soup
8 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 slice of thick-cut hickory smoked bacon, cut into pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 head of green cabbage, about one pound, chiffonade cut (don't use purple cabbage, it turns the soup an unappealing grey color)
14 oz. ring of smoked kielbasa, cut into coins and then halved
1 tsp. fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp, dried thyme
2 quarts of chicken stock (use a good stock, not broth or bouillin)
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup broth
Add the bacon to a large stock pot over medium heat, partially cook the bacon, and then leave it in the pot. Add 2 Tbsp. of butter, the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute until tender.
Add the kielbasa, potato, and cabbage. Saute 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and thyme. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.
While that's simmering, make the Roux:
Melt 6 Tbsp. of butter, add 1/2 cup flour, stir to combine - it will form into crumbles. Then slowly add about 1/8 cup of warm stock from the soup pot, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick paste.
Add the roux to the soup pot. Stir to combine as the soup thickens. Simmer another 20 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste. Do NOT add any salt until you taste the soup - the butter, bacon, and meat is already salty and oversalting will ruin this soup.