- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 6 slices good-quality smoky bacon, chopped or very thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway or cumin seed
- 1 Braeburn or Northern Spy apple or other firm slightly tart variety, finely chopped
- 1 small red cabbage, quartered, cored and very thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Cheesecloth or loose tea teabag filled with:
- 5-6 juniper berries
- 3-4 whole cloves
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Curl orange rind
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar or wine vinegar
- 2 rounded tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt
Note: You will need kitchen twine to prepare this recipe.
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon EVOO and the bacon. Brown and crisp the bacon and remove to a plate, draining off some of the fat if you have more than enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pot.
Add the onion, carrot, caraway and apples and stir for a few minutes. Wilt in the cabbage and season with black pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. Cover with the lid slightly ajar and wilt the cabbage while you prepare the teabag sachet. Fill the cheesecloth with the juniper berries, cloves, bay leaves, orange rind and cinnamon and use kitchen twine to tie it to the side of the pot. Drop it into the pot and stir into the cabbage. Add the vinegar, keeping your head back from the hot pot, brown sugar, stock and water,and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 1-1 1/2 hours, until the cabbage is very tender and the soup has thickened. Stir the bacon bits back in, then adjust the salt to your taste.
Cool and store for a make-ahead meal, or serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.