RECIPE: Quadruple-C soup

by Sunita

It’s been seriously busy at Casa RWV the past couple of weeks, so I haven’t had time for much writing of any kind. But last night we made a spur of the moment soup that turned out really well. TheH insisted I write it down before I forgot it, so where better than here, where I said I would post recipes?

Both of us have had horrible head and chest colds so we’ve been craving soup. But the only things left in the fridge were a head of cabbage and some frozen chicken thighs. No carrots or celery to make chicken soup, but why not make a cabbage soup with chicken broth? We found a can of coconut milk in the pantry, and I always have garlic and ginger on hand.

You could probably substitute vegetable broth (or water) and tofu to make it vegetarian, and if you leave out the yogurt and add lemon juice you can make it vegan.


3-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small or 1/2 large head cabbage
4-6 scallions or 1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
3-4 slices and 2 Tbsp fresh ginger
1 serrano chile
1/4 cup cilantro or 12-18 curry leaves
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp canola oil
6 peppercorns
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup yogurt
1 can coconut milk


Put chicken thighs in large saucepan or small dutch oven, add water to 2 inches above chicken. Add 2-3 scallions or 1/4 onion, 6-8 curry leaves or 3-4 stems cilantro (with leaves), the ginger slices, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Set aside.

While broth is cooking, mince the chile, garlic cloves, and ginger. Slice/dice scallions or onion. Shred cabbage (use a food processor or quarter and then cut crosswise in thin strips).

When broth is done, heat canola oil in a second, larger dutch oven. Add cumin seeds, brown for a minute, then add peppercorns, garlic, ginger, onions, chile, and curry leaves. Saute for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until onions are transparent and beginning to brown. Add turmeric, coriander, and garam masala and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add cabbage (and the rest of the cilantro if you’re not using curry leaves), stir, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the cabbage is slightly wilted.

Pour in coconut milk and then add 4-6 cups of strained chicken stock from the boiled chicken. Add water if necessary to ensure the cabbage mixture is fully immersed. Add the yogurt 2-3 Tbsp at a time and stir to incorporate. Cover, bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, remove chicken from broth and shred into bite-sized pieces. Strain and save any leftover broth for future use.

Add chicken to soup, add salt if necessary, and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve as is or place 1/2 cup cooked rice in a soup bowl and ladle the soup over it.

Serves 4-6.