Cabbage and Parmesan Soup with Barley

This recipe is from Martha Rose Schulman, on the New York Times web site (with small adjustments made here for the CSA box).  I notice that she uses Parmesan Cheese rinds in her soup — a trick that I once learned from a chef so that I now save the rinds from any of my hard cheese — it adds deeper flavor to the soup.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (your fresh onion will work fine)
7 to 8 cups shredded cabbage
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
About 6 ounces of New Potatoes
6 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 large Parmesan Rinds
1 cup cooked barley
Chopped fresh dill, chives or parsley for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish


Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage, garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cook, stirring often, until the cabbage begins to soften.  Add the potato, the water or stock, the Parmesan rinds and the salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Remove and discard the rinds.

Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender, coarsely purée the soup.  Return to the pot and stir in the barley, or place a spoonful of barley in each bowl.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings and heat through.  Serve, garnishing each bowl with a sprinkling of dill, chives or parsley, and a spoonful of grated Parmesan.