I posted this for the pickles. Last summer, I made a batch of okra pickled with vinegar, dill, garlic and red pepper, and we finally got around to eating it. These babies are great! The texture stayed firm and the flavor is rich but piquant. A perfect accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches made with rustic sourdough and local cheddar. The soup is one of those throw-it-together-and-it-takes-care-of-itself types. I recall that its origin was a three-day cleansing diet some of my friends swore by. I scratched the diet because it involved eating bananas with the soup and I thought that was creepy. The soup endured, and that’s a good thing.
1 small head of green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 medium onion, diced (or a large leek, sliced)
4-5 carrots, diced
6-8 stalks celery, diced
Optional: 2 c green beans in ½-inch pieces
Optional: a handful of chopped parsley
1 qt + home-canned whole tomatoes and juice or 2 28-oz cans, chopped
Salt and pepper
Optional: rind of Parmesan cheese
Place all of the vegetables, including the tomatoes and their juice, in a large stockpot. Add salt and pepper and water to come up the side of the pot about 1/3 of the way. Add the cheese rind, if using. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, boiling, for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer until tender, about 45-60 minutes.