Variations on a theme, here.
I made a big batch of chili sauce last summer--tomatoes, spices, brown sugar, etc., etc. Then it just sat around while I tried to figure out what the heck could possibly be done with it.
When I made Eric's Birthday Black Bean Soup a few weeks back, I was out of my favorite tomato-type products, so I tossed some chili sauce in on a whim... and what do you know, it was a great "secret ingredient." A little sweet, a little spicy, and a great balance to the soup's other flavors. So I pulled another jar out of the pantry and used it in this Stuffed Cabbage Soup--every last drop of which was eaten by my family for yesterlunch.
What other stuffable vegetables are out there?, one wonders. Stuffed celery? (Ew.) Stuffed artichoke? (Hmm...) Stuffed kohlrabi? (Double hmm...) Stay tuned and find out!
Stuffed Cabbage Soup
Serves eight, theoretically, or four if everyone has seconds
1/2 pound lean ground beef, or 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp olive oil (if using beef)
1 onion, chopped
1 medium head cabbage, core and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped or shredded fairly fine
4 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 pint thick chili sauce (or see this recipe for an alternative)
[Optional, if making veggie version: 1/2 pound frozen, crumbled tofu]
Crumbled feta cheese for serving
MEAT VERSION: In a soup pot, combine beef and olive oil over medium heat; cook, stirring to break up meat, until sizzling. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, about 7 minutes. Add cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain excess fat; skip to next step.
VEGGIE VERSION: In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
FOR EITHER VERSION: Add broth, chili sauce, and tofu (if using). Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for a good long while, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve with plenty of feta sprinkled over each bowl.