Kitchen Experiment – Crock Pot Cabbage and Tomato Soup

‘Kitchen experiment’ posts are where I totally risk time, money and energy trying to concoct something I’ve never tried before. Sometimes they work out great.

Other times, it goes straight to the trash – or it gets hidden in the fridge until it becomes a health hazard and can be thrown away without guilt – or at least not as much.

I bought a cabbage – mainly because it is a cheap and nutritious vegetable  – without having a clue as to what to do with it. A search of the Internet led me to this recipe.

Of course, I never follow a recipe exactly. So here’s what I did:

  • 1/2 large head of cabbage, sliced with the mandoline
  • 2 boxes of diced tomatoes – 26 oz. each
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1-1/2 cups julienned summer squash
  • 1 cup water
Those of you unfortunate enough to have seen my veggie burger recipe will recognize that the onions and squash were leftovers from that. The diced tomatoes were what I happened to find in the cupboard. I had happened to shred the cabbage the other night, in anticipation I’d find something  to do with it. As I did it, my daughter politely asked: does the mandoline really do anything a knife can’t?
Well, she was right with the cabbage – I could have used the knife and pretty much used the same time and energy.
I put the cabbage in the pot, then the tomatoes, then realized my first mistake: I should have put the tomatoes on the bottom. My understanding is that crockpots only apply the heat at the bottom, and without liquid or something else that will transfer the heat, it won’t cook properly. Shredded cabbage is practically insulation with all the air pockets. So I added the cup of water to help the cooking process – I would have left it out otherwise.
About 6 hours later I tried the stuff. It was not particularly ‘soupy’ at all, and I could have actually added more water.
The cabbage was still a bit hard, so I let it cook another 2 hours.
At the 8-hour mark, the cabbage was very tender. The flavor of this concoction however, with just salt and pepper, was definitely missing something. It was a bit sour – probably from the tomatoes, which contained no seasonings at all.
Looking around, I found an open packet of Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix and sprinkled just a bit on top.
My-oh-my – that was quite an improvement! I ended up having at least 3 or 4 small bowls of the stuff. Great for a snowy day in the Northeast US.
The one aspect of this recipe that caused some family disharmony was in the digesting of the soup.
Let’s just say there was some sound and fury that was probably directly attributable to this stuff.
I don’t recommend eating it without Beano, or right before a job interview.

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