As seasons change, our tastes change, making us harmonious with nature. During summer, we often eat cooling foods that can be made into a meal rather quickly. As soon the days get shorter we desire comforting, and slow cooked foods. My recipe for Cabbage and Chicory Lemongrass Soup is a wonderful transitional dish for the colder months. Lemongrass, ginger, and lime, lend this soup flavours that are reminiscent of warm weather. By incorporating chicory in a warming soup we are taking advantage of autumn’s produce, but at the same time offering a fresh and crisp texture to the soup
This soup is inspired by my trip to the farmers market, as most of my recipes are. I was drawn to the Castelfranco Radicchio, a sweet Italian chicory, that is a creamy green with gorgeous pink spots and stripes. Drawn to soft colours, I picked out pale yellow carrots and pastel pink and grey oyster mushrooms. I love finding exquisite variations of common produce in order to make a dish feel a little more special. However, feel free to use conventional carrots and oyster mushrooms, if that’s more convenient for you. In place of castelfranco radicchio, you may use Belgian endive or conventional radicchio.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots (preferably yellow), chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minched ginger
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white and pale-yellow parts only, smashed and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh turmeric or 1/4 tsp dried turmeric
- 7 cups water
- 4 cups torn nappa cabbage
- 6 oz oyster mushrooms, torn
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 small head of castelfranco chicory, torn
- juice of 1 lime
- cilantro or parsley for serving
Heat olive olive in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage and mushrooms, sea salt, and coconut sugar and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season as necessary.
Remove soup from heat and add lime juice. Serve with torn chicory, and herbs.