31. Barley-Cabbage Soup, pg. 205
Ahhh, October: The days of cabbage. Such a lovely crop to watch grow, but the minute it hits the kitchen countertop, each head seems to double in size. It's understandable that fermented cabbage dishes such as sauerkraut and kim chi are made in vat (or vast...) quantities. Unfortunately, I don't have the patience for fermentation (beyond a day or two).
Aside from borscht, I've rarely had cabbage in soup. I'm such a fan of pearl barley though, that I was pretty sure this would be a fairly successful dish up.
This recipe could use a few changes. First, the barley really only needs to cook for about an hour, instead of the 2 written. Check it starting at 45 minutes for doneness, and take off heat when the grains are done. Next, for the veggies, do sauté the onions until they lightly brown before adding the cabbage. I sautéed them with the cabbage for the same amount of time (and just until they were soft), and in the final product, I found the onions to be a bit too strong. Cooking them longer will mellow them out a bit. Lastly, for the white sauce, I used butter for fuller flavor. Oil could definitely be used, and I think olive oil would even be fine. Tweak to your needs or preference.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 Surprisingly flavorful and hearty.