This is what I would call chou frisé — Savoy cabbage.
But on Wiki I see a chou frisé that looks more like kale.
The duck legs are brining (see yesterday's post) and I'm going to let them continue to marinate for another 24 hours. Meanwhile, I'm going to make cabbage soup. The Savoy cabbages at the supermarket are beautiful right now and very inexpensive (79 cents each). All the other vegetable are cheap too — carrots for 40 cents a kilo, leeks for 60 cents a kilo. So now is the time to enjoy them.
Here's a recipe for cabbage soup that I'm going to follow. It comes from this book, which I've had for years now and use just once in a while, mostly for ideas, not the actual recipes. The copyright date in the book is 1988, but I wonder if it is really that recent.
Here's a translation of the recipe. I'm adding some paragraph breaks to make it easier to read.
A Kind of Cabbage SoupI have a little hamhock, less than a pound, and two kinds of sausages, smoked and Toulouse(which are not smoked). It should all be good.
In a big cookpot containing two quarts of water, on medium heat, cook a 2 lb. piece of pork belly (smoked or salt-cured) that you have soaked for an hour in cold water. When the pot boils, skim the broth and let it boil for 30 minutes.
Add vegetables as you would for boiled beef: 2 leeks tied into a bundle; carrots split lengthwise; other root vegetables; a bouquet of thyme, parsley, and bay leaf; 2 onions; and 3 cloves of garlic. Do not salt the broth until the very end of the cooking because the salt from the cured meat will probably be sufficient. Cover the pot and continue the cooking for at least an hour.
At the end of that time, add to the pot, with the other vegetables, 2 little green cabbages (the best one are the little cabbages that we get in springtime), which you have split and then tied up so that they don’t come apart in the broth.
A half-hour after adding the cabbages, uncover the pot and add 6 medium potatoes and a sausage (or two) that you have poked in several places with a fork so that it won’t split open. Put the lid back on and finish the cooking for about 30 minutes.
Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning, and when it is just right, remove the herb bouquet and also the leeks, which you should untie and cut into serving pieces. Take the cabbages out of the pot using a slotted spoon and place them in a heated dish, arrange the potatoes around them, and put the pork and the sausage on top. Put the dish in a warm oven and pour the bouillon and the rest of the vegetables over thin slices of stale bread in a large bowl. Remove the onions and the garlic if you want. Serve very hot in heated soup bowls.
This soup, which makes a complete meal, is always welcome. When you have meat left over, serve it as an hors-d’oeuvre the next day.
In wintertime, make the soup using loose heads of green Savoy cabbage or kale.
Yesterday, I took the outer leaves off the cabbage I bought at the supermarket and blanched them for freezing. Soon, I will take them out and make stuffed cabbage leaves with them.
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Our friends made it to Florence just fine. I talked to them last night. They said it was 70ºF down there in Tuscany. That didn't improve my mood.
A while ago, I opened the shutters on the bedroom window and looked out. It looked the same way it has looked for days and day now. I checked the temperature: 9.8ºC, or about 50ºF. I got dressed and put on my jacket for the 8:00 a.m. perambulation with Callie.
I stepped out the back door and realized there was a fine, penetrating rain falling. I hadn't even noticed it when I looked out the window — it was that fine (and it was still half dark out). So I stepped back inside, put on a raincoat, and went out anyway. It was a short stroll, and I came back with my socks and feet soaking wet. I guess I need some waterproof shoes.