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Cabbage, Onion and Kale Soup with Bacon

Valentine's Day is coming and in the food blogging world that means I'm supposed to write something about heart-shaped food, sprinkles or love. So, I'm writing about the latter. Here goes.

A love letter (sort of) to cabbage:

Dear Cabbage (I don't know if you have a last name. Maybe Brassica?),

You're not flashy and sometimes that means I overlook you. But the truth is that under that outer layer you have a lot to offer (which is good because your outer layer is sometimes kinda limp and unappealing, frankly). You're versatile. You're capable of being remarkably delicate yet not just sturdy but strong (kinda like that commercial about pick-up trucks that's starting to get on my nerves). Anyway, despite perhaps being undervalued as a star player (I mean how often have you truly taken centre stage?), your complex flavour has contributed to nearly every cuisine on earth. You get around, Cabbage (but, like, in a good way). Respect.

I just want you to know I see you there, Cabbage, waiting quietly near the broccoli for someone to take you home, which can't be easy because broccoli is so darn popular (it has a fun name, which is half the battle). But I promise to start valuing you more and making you a more regular part of my life.

Love (but not love love more like generally fond),


Cabbage, Onion and Kale Soup with Bacon
Makes 4-6 servings

3 strips of bacon
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 cups chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups (750 mL) water
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce

Warm a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook on both sides until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Add the onion and celery to the pot, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Stir in the cabbage, kale and garlic, and cook 2 minutes just to wilt the leafy greens. Pour in the stock, water and soy sauce. Chop 2 of the bacon strips, adding them to the pot. Bring the works to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve with the reserved bacon chopped as garnish.

What vegetable do you want to show your affection to more often?