Spicy Cabbage and Sparerib Soup

It might still be 90 degrees outside but I'm ready for soup. A nice warm comforting fall soup. I found this recipe in one of the zillion cookbooks that Joyce sent, with the unusual name of <em>Italian Soup Cook Book by Joe Famularo</em>. Lovely recipes.

David's fall cabbage crop includes savoy cabbage that are not quite ready yet, but I took 2 anyway.

Good homemade bread is essential for mopping up the broth in the bottom of the bowl.

Serves 6
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2 tablespoons olive oil
6 pork spareribs (about 1 1/2 pounds) cut into individual ribs
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium head savoy cabbage, trimmed, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups water
6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
Salt to taste
3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, such as Romano

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the spareribs and saute' until they are lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn the ribs 2 or 3 times to cook all sides. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, then stir in the red pepper flakes.

2. Add the cabbage wedges and water to the pot and bring to a boil, partially covered, over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cabbage is limp and bright green, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the broth and raise the heat to return to a boil. Reduce the heat again and cook, still partially covered, until the ribs are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.

4. To serve, place a rib and some cabbage into each warmed bowl, then ladle in the broth. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of each serving and serve the remainder alongside.