Spring Cabbage Soup with Crispy Seaweed
Myrtle Allen puts this delicious soup on the menu in Ballymaloe several times during late Spring.
2 ozs (50g/1/2 stick) butter
4 ozs (110g/1 cup) onions
5 ozs (140g/1 cup) chopped potatoes
9 ozs (255g/3 cups) chopped spring cabbage leaves (stalks removed)
1 1/2 pints (900ml/3 3/4 cups) light chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
2-4 fl ozs (50-100ml/1/4-1/2 cup) cream or creamy milk
Outer leaves of Spring Cabbage
Oil for frying
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and turn them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock, and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add the cabbage and cook with the lid off until the cabbage is cooked. Keep the lid off to retain the green colour. Do not overcook or the vegetables will lose both their fresh flavour and colour. Purée the soup in a liquidiser or blender, taste and adjust seasoning. Add the cream or creamy milk before serving.
To make the Crispy Seaweed, remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, cut out the stalks, roll the dry leaves into a cigar shape and slice into the thinnest possible shreds with a sharp knife. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 180 degrees. Toss in some cabbage and cook for just a few seconds. As soon as it starts to crisp, remove and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Toss and serve as a garnish on te soup or just nibble, it's quite addictive worse than peanuts or popcorn!
If this soup is to be reheated, just bring it to the boil and serve. Prolonged boiling spoils the colour and flavour of green soups.