The making of a cabbage soup in France is almost a ritual and among the poorer classes it often constitutes a whole meal, as it always contains salt pork or mutton, or both, which are eaten separately—and excellent it is. But there is also a delicious version of it, without the meat, which I will give you.
1 cabbage, 1 or 2 large carrots, 2 sticks of celery, a bouquet of mixed herbs, butter, salt and pepper.
Quarter the cabbage and wash it well in salted water, then blanch it in boiling water for 5 minutes. Now plunge it in a basin of cold water, remove, and squeeze in a cloth to extract the water. The cabbage is then placed in a saucepan containing about 1 quart of boiling water with the sliced carrot, onion and celery—if celery is out of season, use celery seed—a bouquet of mixed herbs, and well seasoned with salt and pepper. This should now simmer gently for 2 hours, when the vegetables are removed, coarsely chopped and put back in the saucepan and the whole well stirred for about 5 minutes. The soup is ready to serve. Here again, add a little pat of butter just before serving. Time: 1 1/4 hours.