i first made this as a brownie (a mini girl scout) and for years after (and still kind of to this day) we’ve called it “brownie soup.” and “fart soup.” it was originally pretty bland – vegetable stock, cabbage, carrots and celery – and has evolved slightly throughout the years. my current favorite version includes some aromatics, grains and legumes to butch it up a bit.



2-3T olive oil
1 leek, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, chopped
10c vegetable stock (i use better than bouillon*)
3-5 carrots, sliced in rounds
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, diced
3 small purple top turnips, diced
1/2c dried barley
1/2c dried lentils
2t salt
1/2t black pepper

over medium-high heat fry up the leeks, garlic and cabbage in the olive oil until cabbage starts to get translucent and slightly charred. do not burn the garlic. NEVER BURN THE GARLIC.  throw in the rest of the vegetables as you chop them. once all the veg are in, pour in the stock, barley and lentils and cook for about 30 minutes. it’s all done when the carrots are fork-tender and the lentils and barley are cooked through. serve with a nice hunk of italian bread.

*a word about better than bouillon – i love it.


for about $5 you get 38 cups worth of stock. i don’t have the energy to make my own stock or the space to store it, so this is ALWAYS in my fridge. i save the jars for sauces, dressings and leftover canned or bagged things, etc. best.

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  1. Deb says:

    a hunk of hearty italian bread on the bottom of the bowl and, ecco, ribollita! yum

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