This thrifty, pared-down soup is earthy and comforting but still light. I like to think it follows the tradition of the best peasant cookery: using clever seasoning to turn a few humble vegetables into something really tasty.
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots (about 150 g in total), peeled and sliced about 5 mm thick
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 300 g cabbage, such as Savoy, core removed, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil, to finish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt, cover and sweat gently over a medium heat for 7–10 minutes or until translucent and softened.
Add the carrots and caraway seeds to the pan and stir until well combined. Cook, covered, for a further 3 minutes or so.
Add the cabbage, stir well and then pour over the veg stock and season with pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the carrots and cabbage are both tender. Taste and add more salt and pepper as necessary.
Ladle into warmed bowls, making sure everyone gets a share of the caraway seeds, which tend to drift to the bottom of the pan. Give each bowlful a swirl of extra virgin oil and serve. If you want to make lunch of it, serve a hunk of carrot cornbread or a slice of seedy rye soda bread alongside.
Recipe from Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, hb, $44.99). Photography © Simon Wheeler.