One of my favorite parts about the cooler months is that they give me an excuse to eat soup more often. They also give me an excuse to cook soup more often. Sometimes when I tell people I like to cook, they’ll ask what my favorite thing to cook is, and I’ve always had a hard time answering that question. Usually I’ll tell them I love to cook Mexican food (especially tacos with homemade tortillas!), but I’m starting to realize that I also really love to make soups. Is that weird? I just love watching it all come together in the pot.
This particular soup isn’t quite as fun to make as the soups that cook on the stovetop, but I realize that many of you aren’t looking to get a thrill from making soup–you’re probably looking for something simple and satisfying. While using the slow cooker takes out much of the fun of cooking for me, it’s nice to have simple “dump everything in the crockpot” recipes like this on hand for busy days when I might not want to spend an hour by the stove.
I’m a big fan of this soup because it includes cabbage. One time we went to visit my Great Aunt Beulah when I was four or five years old. She’d cooked lunch for us, and someone must have filled my plate for me and decided not to include the boiled cabbage. I saw it on others’ plates and asked, “What’s that?”
“Oh, that’s cabbage, Savannah. You wouldn’t like it.”
I begged to differ.
That was the day I fell in love with cabbage and became the weird kid who’d claim it as her favorite food. Every year at the family reunion, my sweet Great Aunt Beulah would greet me with a pat on the hand and say, “Oh, there’s my little cabbage girl!” That, of course, would be music to my ears because typically I’d spend the car ride to the family reunion silently hoping that there would be a dish filled with her cabbage somewhere on the potluck table. I have no shame in that.
And so, from me to you, here’s a gift–the great love of my childhood in soup form. You’re welcome.
Crockpot Cabbage Soup
- 1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans, dry*
- 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped into bite-sized leaves
- 13 oz precooked sausage like kielbasa (We like smoked turkey sausage.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 48 oz chicken broth
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker in the order listed.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, stirring every few hours. The soup is ready to serve anytime after the beans are cooked through. I told you it was easy!
*Dry beans are cheaper than canned beans, and if you’re using a slow cooker, there’s no need for the soaking process. Extra tip: This is how I always cook black beans too. I just cover the bottom of the slow cooker with a layer of beans, add seasoning, top with about 2 inches of water, and cook on low for several hours.