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The cabbage actually comes from a very colorful plant family. Brassica oleracea has been cultivated and selectively changed for thousands of years. Today, the cabbage family includes the green, crinkly leafed kale, white cauliflower, broccoli, and tiny green brussel sprouts. There are a few different forms of cabbage itself, from the white to light green standard cabbage to the savories which come in white, red, green, and brown.
According to the University of Florida, cabbage is relatively low in calories, but it was popular with early civilizations since it grows quickly (about three months) and tolerates cool temperatures very well. In cooler climates it can be planted in summer and fall. It is a good source of potassium, and vitamins A and C.
Cabbage is one of many foods popular for cooking on New Years. You’ll find it part
of the menu in Europe, including Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, and many parts of the United States.
One medium head cabbage
½ pound beef cubes (chuck or shoulder)
2 10-ounce cans beef broth
1 can carrot juice
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup celery
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut cabbage into 2-inch pieces and set aside. Braise beef cubes in a skillet with a small amount of canola oil. Place beef broth in a large crock-pot and add carrot juice, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, sliced carrots, celery, celery seed, chopped onions, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the braised meat and cabbage to the crock-pot and cook on the high setting for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Reduce temperature and warm.
Accompanied by crackers or your favorite bread, cabbage soup makes for a robust meal on a cold winter’s day or any day.