Bulk Up Your Cabbage Soup With Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage soup and bread slices
Cabbage soup and bread slices - Tatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock

Steaming hot from the stove, cabbage soup's hearty taste and cozy aroma are all you need for a soul-nourishing meal. Despite the name, however, this soup often includes more than just cabbage. Simmering in the broth alongside it is a variety of vegetables — almost anything you have sitting in the fridge will do. Although not too common, Brussels sprouts are a spectacular choice. Not only does it give your cabbage soup a special flavor twist, but also bulks up the texture and makes each spoonful much more filling and satisfying.

Don't be fooled by Brussels sprouts' miniature sizes. Each sprout is actually quite thick and substantial. Together, they do a marvelous job of thickening up the soup's overall texture. Beyond that, biting into these vegetables is a joy in itself. They're slightly crunchy at first, then yield a chewy yet tender feel that melts the flavors straight onto your taste buds.

Coming from the same cruciferous family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts bear a similar undertone to the vegetable, making them perfectly complementary when added to the soup. That said, they still have a distinctive taste that helps them stand out amongst the myriad of ingredients. They offer a mixture of sweet and nutty notes, intertwining over an earthy backdrop. These beautiful nuances give the soup a new complexity that's just a touch different from what you're already familiar with. The change is subtle yet impactful, which sometimes is all you need for a renewed eating experience.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

How To Make This Addition Even More Interesting

A bowl of Brussels sprouts
A bowl of Brussels sprouts - Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock

Much like any other veggies that go into cabbage soup, the Brussels sprouts should be given a quick saute in the pot, preferably with aromatics like onion and garlic. If you have the time, roasting the veggie isn't such a bad idea, either. While you're at it, might as well roast the cabbage, too. This helps to bring out their hidden sweetness and add a hint of smokiness, intensifying the soup's flavor profile to a more captivating level.

Don't limit yourself to just one or two vegetables, however. Joining the Brussels sprouts can be lots of other ingredients that will diversify the soup's flavors even further. Start with other members of the cruciferous family such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, etc. Of course, any of the typical soup staples will work just as well. After all, you can hardly go wrong with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions, especially for cabbage soup.

Branching into the legume sphere, your choices are as diverse as ever — ranging from lentils and chickpeas to white beans and kidney beans. Finally, for those who'd like a savory punch, meat is the fitting addition. Ground beef is excellent (as evident by this cabbage roll soup recipe), but you can also opt for sausages or bacon for an extra smoky edge.

Read the original article on Tasting Table