Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
~ John Muir (The Yosemite)
Indian Summer is in full effect here in Northern California and as I type it’s 90+ degrees F in Inverness. This should help our bodies adjust to the temperatures in Riyadh which will still be hovering around 100 when we return, though we’ll not get that lovely coastal breeze at night and wisps of fog in the mornings. We’ve taken our girls to the beach many times – Elspeth won’t remember it but I hope Sierra does – and have gone wading and hunting for sand dabs and watched pelicans sail low across the waves. We’ve gone swimming at Shell Beach on Sundays and whiled away lazy, sun-filled hours in the garden. Nature has been shown to its best advantage.
It’s been a lovely summer.
Still, our thoughts are turning to fall and, quick on its heels, those wintry months where we may actually get a bit of rain sprinkled on our desert abode. Soup season is nearly upon us and I am looking forward to settling back home at least until spring, refinding sweaters for a brief time and making pots of nourishing, brothy soups.
Simple is best, yes? And when you’re multi tasking regularly turning leftovers from dinner – or in this case making a bit of extra rice to go with that stir fry so you already have it on hand – into the next day’s lunch is key. Add some cabbage and carrots and vegetable stock and these are leftovers that stand out.
I can’t say I’m glad to see the summer go, although in a sense we’re headed back into endless summer pretty soon, but I am looking forward to galettes, stews, vegetable soups … and of course all of that delicious holiday and winter baking. October is peeking round the corner and soon enough it will actually feel like fall in the Kingdom and for that we’ll be extra grateful. Soup and all.
Save or make extra rice the next time you plan to make it and use it in this hearty, wholesome soup.
Makes 4-6 servings.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-small red or yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 cup cooked brown rice
4-5 (or more as needed) cups water or vegetable broth
In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until very lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the water or broth and cook over moderately low heat until the cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the rice and serve.