Red cabbage and apple soup
Based on a River Cottage recipe, a chunky soup that's a meal on its own served with good bread. Serves four to six.
Little oil for frying
1 large onion, finely diced
1.5 tsp sesame seeds
300g finely shredded red cabbage
1 litre vegetable stock
300ml red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful walnut halves
3-4 tbsp sour cream or thick yoghurt
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat.
Add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent, stirring from time to time, about 15 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and stir for a minute.
Peel and core the apples, and slice them thickly. Raise the temperature slightly, add the apples and cabbage to the onions and fry for a further five minutes, until the cabbage begins to soften.
Increase the heat; pour in the stock, wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Uncover and simmer until the cabbage is very tender – about 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Warm a knob of butter in a frying pan and sauté the walnuts until just golden and fragrant.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with a few walnut halves, a spoonful of sour cream or yoghurt.
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