When I was a Veggie-Toddler, my mum used to make something for me with caraway. At least, I’m sure of it, because when I started frying this up, I had a Proustian moment, and the earthy smell transported me back our our teeny flat where I had stuck Babar transfers wherever I thought she wouldn’t notice them. She can’t actually remember the dish she used to make, but the feeling was so strong I know it to be true.
While we wait for her memory to catch up, we can enjoy the aniseedy, fennelly seeds in this grown-up soup. Unlike lots of seeds, caraway can be used without grinding – easy-peasy!
1 white onion, chopped
A little oil
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
300g savoy cabbage, washed very thoroughly
1 unwaxed lemon
thyme – 1/2 tsp if fresh, 1/4 if dried
500ml vegetable stock
150g cannellini beans
1 tbsp creme fraiche per bowl (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, and cook the onions and caraway for about 6 minutes, until the onions are beginning to get golden, and the aniseedy scent of the caraway wafts.
2. Cut the tough stems from your cabbage leaves into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
3. Cut the rest of the cabbage leaves into bite sized pieces and add to the pan along with the stock, thyme and 2/3 slices cut from the skin of your lemon. Cook for 8 minutes.
4. Take the pan off the heat, scoop out your lemon peel pieces and using an immersion blender, whizz the soup up a little. You still want some cabbage leave whole, while the others form a thick green broth for your soup. I’d say aim for about 50% blended.
5. Put the pan back on the heat, and add the cannellini beans. Heat through, and serve with 1 tbsp creme fraiche on top.
Omit the creme fraiche for a vegan meal.