Cabbage is rarely described as tasting rich, but when simmered long and slow with plenty of butter and olive oil, that’s exactly the outcome. Although buttery, slow-simmered cabbage can be a dish in itself, add broth and sausage and you’ll get a very simple soup with incredibly rich, comforting flavor.
When cooking cabbage this way, high-quality butter and olive oil make a difference in flavor and healthfulness. Use grass-fed butter, if possible. Buy olive oil that’s as local as possible, has real flavor and has been put through the “fridge test.”
Sausage doesn’t have to be the finishing touch to this cabbage soup. Use the cooked cabbage as a base for vegetable soup, or add cooked ground meat or thin slices of pork or beef instead. The cooked cabbage can also be frozen, then added to broth later on a busy night to make a quick pot of soup.
Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes hands-on time, plus 1.5 hours to simmer
In a Dutch oven or wide, deep pot over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter with olive oil. Add onion and cook until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook a few minutes until soft, then add cabbage in batches, stirring well to coat in oil.
When the cabbage has wilted a little, season with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and cover the pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the pot seems dry, add a little bit of water. When it’s done, the cabbage will be very soft and tender.
(At this point, the cabbage can be cooled and frozen, if desired. It can then be re-heated in broth for soup.)
Turn heat up to medium. Add broth and kielbasa. Bring to a simmer, uncovered. Cook until the sausage is completely warmed through, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, fresh herbs, plus more salt and pepper to taste if needed.