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story.lead_photo.caption Cabbage Beef Soup (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

I'd like to thank everyone who has sent notes, recipes and requests lately. It's heartening to know how much you all enjoy the column and wish to keep it alive.

I know it seems recipes are everywhere these days and you can find just about any recipe with the click of a mouse. But one thing this column offers that many online recipes often don't is trust. The recipes shared here have often been favorites for decades. They are tried and true, prepared again and again, adjusted and tweaked as necessary by the Kats who share them.

Keep 'em coming, please.

The days may be sunnier and getting longer, but we're still in the trenches of soup weather as winter marches along.

Which brings us to this week's recipes from Ellen Siler and Sandy (last name not given) that are sure to warm you up and fill you up.

"We always loved the Cabbage Beef Soup at Shoney's years ago. When the Internet came about I was finally able to get a recipe that comes very close to theirs," Siler writes.

"We like to eat this with Frito's Scoops."

Cabbage Beef Soup

1 pound lean ground beef

½ medium onion, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

4 cups water

4 beef bouillon cubes

½ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 (16-ounce) can light red kidney beans, with juice

½ head cabbage, chopped

Brown ground beef with the onion, then drain. In a soup pot or Dutch oven combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

"This next soup is a very hearty soup we love. It's from Mandy Rivers' South Your Mouth. She suggests it be served with toasted crusty bread and we agree," Siler writes.

Cabbage Stew

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 to 2 carrots, shredded

3 to 4 tablespoons bacon grease OR butter

1 small head of cabbage, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

6 cups chicken broth

5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of celery soup

Saute sausage in vegetable oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven until nicely browned. Add onion and carrots and continue cooking until onions are semi-translucent. Add bacon grease, cabbage, salt, pepper and garlic powder and continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and potatoes then stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stew for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream of celery soup, reduce heat to low, cover then continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

"We obtained [this recipe] last September on a visit to England, more specifically The Black Dog Pub in Kent," Sandy writes.

"We loved this soup so much that we asked our server if he could get the recipe for us. He sent out their chef (yes, in a pub!) and he was happy to share the ingredients and the method, but like any good cook, he couldn't tell us the exact amount of anything in it."

"The added bonus is that it is very diabetes friendly and that goes a long way at our house."

Here goes:

Cauliflower Soup

At some point before you are ready to make the soup, peel and slice in ¼ inch slices 1 medium size onion. Caramelize it in about 2 tablespoons olive oil over very low heat for about 2 hours. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat it, place 4 cups chicken OR vegetable broth in a pan and bring to a medium simmer. Add one head cauliflower in florets (or two 10-ounce packages frozen florets) and cook until very tender. Use an immersible blender (if you have one) or just mash like potatoes if you don't. Dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in cool water and add to the pot, blending with a whisk until well combined. If you want to thicken it more, just repeat with more cornstarch. When you have the consistency you like, add about 2 tablespoons crumbled bleu cheese; stir until it melts. The important thing here is that the bleu cheese is just faintly present. Do not overpower the cauliflower or you will have bleu cheese soup, Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in a splash of heavy cream just to lighten it. Add the caramelized onions last and serve. A great addition is homemade croutons. That's it!

And from the Democrat-Gazette archives, for anyone needing it.

Homemade Croutons

Cut bread — day-old baguette, sourdough and Texas toast work great — into ½- to ¾-inch cubes. Toss the cubes with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt (or garlic salt for added flavor); arrange cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them in a 350-degree oven, stirring once or twice so they brown evenly, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Once cool, the croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Send recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to Kelly Brant, Idea Alley, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203; email:

Please include a daytime phone number.

Food on 01/30/2019

Print Headline: Hearty soups and stew for easy winter suppers


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Archived Comments

  • bbcab
    January 30, 2019 at 2:12 p.m.

    I made the Cauliflower Soup and homemade garlic croutons today for lunch. My husband and I both loved it!