Winter's last gasp
I live in the west end of Toronto, just off a street with many Polish storefronts - bakeries, delis, restaurants, and even a Polish video store and a religious store displaying Catholic paraphernalia in Polish in the window. Pierogies and sausages abound, but not for me. Ryan, who has frequented nearby restaurants for soup in the past, gave me a bit of guidance on this one. It's simple and satisfying.
And yes, I do avoid "faux" products most of the time (because of their soy, wheat, oil and sodium content), but there are moments when I just don't feel like resisting a Tofurkey Beer Brat. It's good to be "good" most of the time, but I`m not going to loose sleep over 2 of these a month. They're tasty (in a completely-unhealthy-but-at-least-cruelty-free way).
2 medium-large onions, chopped
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 kg. potatoes (I like Yukon Gold), peeled, rinsed, and chopped
about 6 cups chopped green cabbage
4 cups (or more) vegetable stock or filtered water
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. sea salt
1-2 pkgs. Tofurkey Beer Brats (half to one per person/serving)
Saute the onions in the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft (about 8-10 minutes). Add the potatoes, cabbage, and stock (or water), turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, add the vinegar, caraway and salt, stir, cover, and cook until the potatoes are soft. (If you're going to enjoy some 'brats', now would be the time to heat 'em up in a skillet, no oil required, just a splash of water to avoid sticking, until they're browned on a few sides.) Now bust out your handblender, or potato masher, and break things up a bit. It' nice to keep the soup chunky, but not too chunky (find the balance that you like).
Chop those 'brats' up into bite-sized pieces and distribute evenly in the soup bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowl and enjoy hot, with a nice fresh salad or some steamed broccoli.
Makes about 8 servings.