Sandburg's Hometown

February 17, 2014

Swedish Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup
by Barbara Schock

Cabbage is a seasonal food–it can be served in the spring, summer, fall and winter. The vegetable has been a hearty food for most of the world’s population since ancient times. In those days it was leafy rather than a compact head. It is a rich source of vitamin C, fiber, iron, calcium and potassium even though the sulphur content may cause flatulence. The sulphur does help the body resist bacteria.

The vegetable grows well in cooler climates and can be stored for fairly long periods if the heads are in good condition at the beginning. Cabbage has been fermented since ancient times in both Eastern and Western cuisines. Soup can be made with fresh cabbage or sauerkraut.

During these cold winter days, a bowl of hot soup is good for the spirit and the stomach. The Sandburg family grew cabbage and other vegetables in their backyard garden. August Sandburg spent hours in his garden after a long day of working in the railroad blacksmith shop. Mrs. Sandburg stored many heads of cabbage in the basement of their home. They could be used to make a variety of dishes. Saving money by growing their own vegetables was important to a family with seven children.

Here is a recipe for cabbage soup:

1 small head of cabbage
3 tablespoons butter or other fat
½ cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup molasses
2 quarts of water (or pork or beef stock)
6 to 10 black peppercorns
Salt to taste

Remove thick veins from cabbage leaves and slice the rest. Brown well in butter and brown sugar or molasses, being careful not to burn it. Add the water or stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 to 50 minutes. Serve very hot with small meat balls, sausages or meat cubes. The flavor can be improved by simmering the mixture for several hours. The soup may be thickened with flour mixed with a little water. Makes 6 servings.

Sandburg's Hometown
Date Title
February 17, 2014 Cabbage Soup
February 10, 2014 Lincoln's Birthday
February 3, 2014  The Colonel
January 27, 2014 The Lincoln Penny - A Little History
January 20, 2014 Walking to Work
January 13, 2014  A Small Abode
January 6, 2014 Birth of a Poet
December 30, 2013 Christmas 1880
December 23, 2013 Swedish Christmas
December 16, 2013 The Reporter Sees Santa
December 9, 2013 The Coming of Christmas
December 2, 2013 The Fire Boys Talk
November 25, 2013 Galesburg Will Feast on Turkeys and Cranberries - Thanksgiving 1893
November 18, 2013  Mary Sandburg Johnson
November 11, 2013 Carl Sandburg's Bicycle
November 4, 2013  Lace Curtains 
October 28, 2013 The Front Room
October 21, 2013 A Warm Breakfast
October 14, 2013 Marion D. Shutter
October 7, 2013 Cigars and Consumption
September 30, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke & August Sandburg
September 16, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke, Mayor
September 9, 2013 Dusty Streets
September 2, 2013 Typhoid Fever
August 26, 2013 Coffee and Water
August 19, 2013 A Horse! A Horse!
August 12, 2013 Gaddial Scott
August 5, 2013 The Racetrack
July 29, 2013 John Peter Algeld - Part II
July 22, 2013 John Peter Altgeld - Part I
July 15, 2013 Tramps, Tramps, Tramps
July 8, 2013 Lady Liberty
July 1, 2013 Galesburg's Fourth
June 24, 2013 John H. Finley
June 17, 2013 The World's Columbian Exhibition
June 10, 2013 Fruit Short-Cake
June 3, 2013 Horatio Alger, Author
May 27, 2013 Memorial Day, 1887
May 20, 2013 Professor Jon W. Grubb
May 13, 2013 Beginnings of Lombard University
May 6, 2013 Young Sandburg’s View of Lombard College
April 29, 2013 Thinking
April 22, 2013 Robert Colville, Master Mechanic
April 15, 2013 The Galesburg Opera House
April 8, 2013 Grocery Stores and Sample Rooms
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity