In Romania, every soup (except chicken noodle soup on Sundays) is a 'ciorba' (chore-buh). This means that a bit of souring agent (lemon juice or vinegar) is added to the broth before it is served. If it doesn't have a bit of acid, it is a stew or goulash. In any case, I had the brilliant idea to add my tablespoon or two of white vinegar at the beginning- when I was boiling the chicken bones for the broth. In this way, the acid will cause minerals to release from the bones and make the broth more healthful.
Almost Organic Cabbage & Potato Soup with Vegetables & Ground Pork
(amounts are approximate- this is a soup, not a cake)
While chicken bones from Sunday's dinner are covered with water and are boiling in a large stock pot (add one tablespoon of white vinegar), chop a large onion along with red & green bell peppers. I like to saute my onions and bell peppers a bit before I add them to the ciorba. Add one tablespoon or more of minced garlic. Set aside. In the same frying pan, brown one pound of ground pork or beef. Drain well, then set aside with the onions and peppers.
Chop a head of cabbage and place in stockpot with strained chicken broth. Add water to cover if needed. Bring to a slow boil.
To the stockpot, add four large peeled potatoes cut in eighths along with six peeled carrots cut into coins. Add any other vegetables. I had leftover corn. Add the onion and meat mixture. Bring to a boil. Then cover, and turn to low until dinner time.
When it is time to serve, salt and pepper to taste. Add minced herbs and sour cream to each bowl, if desired. Now, why is this soup "almost organic?" All the vegetables are from my weekly box from my Abundant Harvest Organics CSA. It is like Christmas morning each Tuesday when I pick up my box. But I am sorry to say that the meat in the soup is not organic. Organic meat is not in our budget yet. With St Phillip's Fast coming upon us (November15th), we will save money on our food bills and perhaps make room for expensive meat.
We will finish dinner with delicious fresh figs and a tiny scoop (the kids ate most of it) of vanilla ice cream. If you have a CSA in your area, it is worth it! (and no finished-product-photo of the ciorba- I have to go teach a class! It was yummy, but it wouldn't win a challenge on MasterChef)