Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2.2: Italian Inspired Cabbage, Mushroom and Barley Soup

Whoa was it cold this morning. When it is 39 degrees and the sun is already up you know it is going to be a cold day. Needless to say that meant I was waiting to venture out and kept my exercise inside today. Seriously I already miss summer and we haven’t had any snow yet. ;-)

Just my luck I got to the polling place as a bus was bringing in elderly people with wheelchairs and walkers. So much for my plan to walk in, vote and walk out of the polling place in a few minutes. Oh well 20 minutes isn’t too long to wait to exercise my right to vote.

Given the cold weather I thought a pot of soup was in order. I opted to make one that mimics an Italian pasta dish I used to make. Since we try to keep our refined grain consumption to a minimum I turned the dish into soup and added mushrooms for their antiproliferative effects and barley for fiber. Here is what I made tonight:

Italian Inspired Cabbage, Mushroom and Barley Soup
Serves 6 very generously


approximately 8 cups veg stock or water (I used homemade stock I made from leek, fennel and onion trim)
4 cups or 28 ounces of peeled, diced tomatoes
3 cups diced yellow onion, finely diced (dice and allow to stand 10 minutes before heating)
8 cloves garlic, minced (dice and allow to stand 10 minutes before heating)
½ cup hulled barley
1 cup cooked white beans (I used great northern cooked without salt)
½ pound mushrooms thinly sliced (remember you want them to fit on a soup spoon)
½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced (don’t add long threads that won’t fit on a soup spoon)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
¼ cup nutritional yeast, to taste (you want to add a buttery background I was not going for cheesiness)
1 -2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
½ cup freshly minced parsley


Combine the veg stock, tomatoes, onions, garlic and barley and cook until the barley is tender. Now add the remaining ingredients except the nutritional yeast, wine vinegar and parsley. Cook until the cabbage is tender. Turn off the heat and add the nutritional yeast one tablespoon at a time until you think it has a buttery background. Now add one tablespoon of red wine and taste the balance of flavor. If you think it needs more add the second tablespoon. Stir the fresh parsley into the soup and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 189.28
Calories From Fat (4%) - 7.93

Total Fat - 0.93g
Saturated Fat - 0.2g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 38.52mg
Potassium - 876.22mg
Total Carbohydrates - 39.69g
Fiber - 10.51g
Sugar - 7.55g
Protein - 8.11g


This is a filling low calorie bowl of soup. If you are looking for something warm and comforting but not fattening this may be what you are looking for. I like the heartiness the cabbage adds to this soup. The barley and beans help this to make this a filling soup. This is a great soup to have on hand when you are trying to cut your calories.

You could top this soup with walnut parmesan and/or croutons both would be excellent. Finely diced chives would make a beautiful garnish as well. Finally you could top the soup with a few capers of thinly sliced olive if you like salty pops in your soup.

Signing out:

Dan and I are going to spend a little time together. Also I need to make Dan strawberry banana soft serve since our dinner was so low in calories as well as clean the kitchen.

I hope you are having a good evening. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. Sounds lovely. Love that dish. It looks Italian:)

  2. I love cabbage in soup! Looks delicious!

  3. I love me some soup and love that this one is super simple and contains ingredients I already have at home. Can't wait to try it.

  4. Soup sounds wonderful! I am going to make a pot to go with my lunches next week.

    Have a good day!

  5. I recently started adding cabbage to my veggie soups because of your tasty looking soups. It is my favorite new addition!

  6. Aimee,

    Thanks, I make variations of this this soup quite often.

    Good eye, the bowl is Italian. ;-) My love of Italian ceramics creeps into the blog often.


  7. JL,

    It is hard for me to make soup without cabbage any longer. I think it adds so much. Thanks.


  8. Heather,

    There will be many soups on my blog in the coming months. I make a lot of soup when it is cold outside. ;-)


  9. Shannon,

    This is a simple soup and that was what I was in the mood for yesterday. Like all soups it will be better the next day. I hope you like it as much as I do.


  10. That soup sounds great--I love soup of all kinds. I have a question about your nutrition analysis...you say it is "per serving", but you don't really give a serving size. Are you basing it on the servings you serve to yourself and Dan?


  11. Neca,

    That is why I make soup. It is great to have on hand to add to lunch. I packed a quart of it in Dan's lunch today with the end of the curried veggies from the day before.

    hope you are having a good Wednesday,

  12. Sarah,

    Thank you so much for letting me know you like the cabbage addition to soup. I am so glad I could inspire you to try it. :-)


  13. Courtney,

    The servings are much more simple than that. On this soup I show it as 6 servings so the nutrition is for 1/6th of the total recipe. Since soup quantity is variable based on the amount of evaporation I though that was more accurate. Also I don't get hung up on the calories as you know I am looking more at the micronutrients for myself.


  14. The soup sounds delish, and I just love how you explain everything in such great detail in your recipes!

  15. Michelle,

    I had the soup for lunch, it was better today like most soups. I love having a hot bowl of soup when it is cold outside.

    Thanks for letting me know my directions make sense. I always wonder about that.


  16. This soup does look good. I like thin soups with lots of goodies in them. I especially love white beans in tomato soup.

  17. Jessica,

    Like most soups this was even better today for lunch. I love to have soup on hand for lunch. ;-) I agree with you white beans and tomato are a good combination in soup.


  18. Interesting--thanks. The micronutrients will obviously be impacted by how you divvy up the servings too. If you ever want me to run anything through the software I work with, let me know!


  19. Courtney,

    I assumed 6 equal portions but obviously you are thinking something else. I will shoot you an email to discuss this in more detail. ;-)



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