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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hot Coleslaw Soup

Do you ever pick up old recipe books and read them? I love 'um! I love everything about them - the lack of direction, the casualness of the ingredient amounts and the expectation that you will just know things (like when they say: cook till done. Um, when?) Unlike any modern cookbook, there are no indexes to learn what an ingredient is, no explanation about the recipes and there are no pictures ether. And the truth is, I wouldn't want any. It would distract from the simplicity, not to mention kill the surprise of what some of the these dishes end up looking like!

Fellow Food Blogger, Christianna, picked up one such book about a year ago and was inspired to challenge other foodies to recreate these recipes. So once each month we all eagerly await the email with an image from the old book telling us what the new dish is. Or, what it was. It's our job to put our own spin on it.

Hot Slaw is this months winning recipe; so many options with this. I have a page full of ideas. The hot dressing intrigued me the most, but I wanted to lighten it up. The versatility of cabbage makes it one of my favorites. The idea of this hot, tender cabbage with a creamy dressing pulled me in the direction of a creamy, caramelized soup. Simple, easy and could be recreated to be lighter on the hips.

Think French onion soup meets spicy coleslaw. Mixing onions with fennel and cabbage, then sauteing until everything becomes a deep golden hue ... the final product almost gives off a hint of a smoky bacon. This easy cabbage soup turned out to be a testament of the simpler days when directions weren't needed.

Cookbooks aren't just for cooking anymore, but they used to be! And this Fat and Happy Hot Slaw Soup will help you momentarily relive those days of lore.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: One of the greatest kitchen tools comes into play in this recipe- the mandolin. It's the simplest way to get super thin, uniform slices. You can use a knife or even a food processor, but the mandolin will do the best job.

Hot Slaw Soup (Cabbage Soup)

2 tbls olive oil
2 tlbs butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Tbls brown sugar
1 jalapeno
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup wine
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper
Blue cheese

Slice each vegetable on the mandolin (or as thin as you can get them using a knife). Heat a medium sized soup pot over medium high heat, add in the olive oil and butter. Add in the sliced onion and fennel, cook about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in the sliced cabbage, turn the heat to medium and let the mixture continue to cook until it begins to caramelize (turn golden to deep brown), stirring often. Have patience at this point, it could take up to 30 minutes for a good carmelization to happen. Half way through, add in the brown sugar, the jalepeno and the tomato.

Deglaze the pan with the water (simply add in the water, then use a wooden spoon to help scrape off the the tasty bits stuck to the pan.) Now add in the wine, caraway seeds and a pinch or two of salt and pepper to taste. Let this simmer to allow all the flavors to meld, about 5 minutes. If you want as more liquidy soup, add in a bit more water and wine.

Now turn the heat to low and stir in the yogurt. Allow to heat through. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust if needed. Serve with a few crumbles of blue cheese over the top.


  1. Mmmmm... that looks delicious - and so warm and filling and perfect for the changing weather - and cabbage and fennel are two of my favorite flavors together! Yum!

  2. I think this is so intriguing! I was glad you suggested the French Onion Soup meets spicy cole slaw; totally got it with that description and was hooked. Would love to try this as the weather cools. Very clever!

  3. whoa...what a soup! Greek yogurt sounds like such a fabulous addition, among the many great things you put into your soup. All this talk of fennel is really making me want to experiment with it, as I haven't cooked with it much before. Now if only I could get my husband to like onions...

  4. Your picture made me hungry and the recipe even more so - yum!

  5. what a flavorful soup! Loving the greek yogurt addition!

  6. Oh my...looks decadent but really isn't. I have been dreading the advent of colder weather but after seeing this and another soup addition today might be more ready. Not quite but at least more. Wonderful take on the slaw.

  7. Great post! It is a great homage to the original recipe, yet still decidedly your own!! Love it- and as always thanks for being a part of the recipe swap, I'm looking forward to seeing more posts!

  8. It's getting colder here in Serbia and soups like yours look so inviting! I love the addition of Blue cheese - goes so well with caramelized onions! Great take on the recipe:)

  9. Such a great idea to make the recipe into a soup...looks perfect for a cold fall day!

  10. I'm assuming you mean white wine? I have all the ingredients for this at the moment, and an open bottle of red, but I don't want to create a slasher film in a bowl...

  11. Hi Annie,
    I actually used red wine in my version for a deeper flavor. But white could work too if you prefer- the outcome would have a slightly lighter, perhaps tangier tone. Let me how it works out, we loved this soup!

  12. Thanks! It was a keeper for sure. I used Napa cabbage, less yogurt, and some chicken broth for part of the red wine (because we wanted to drink it, of course). The French onion soup comparison is apt—I was surprised this tasted so elegant while looking so rustic.

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