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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 01, 2008

Bulgarian Leek, Cabbage, and Potato Soup

(from The Universal Kitchen, by Elisabeth Rozin)
Serves 6

2 large leeks, mostly white part, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)*
2 large cloves garlic, minced*
2 T. olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes
2 to 2-1/2 c. coarsely chopped cabbage
2 c. canned crushed tomatoes
4 c. chicken stock
Several grinds black pepper
1 T. lemon juice
3 T. finely snipped fresh dill*
Salt to taste
Plain yogurt, for garnish, if desired

In large pot, cook the leeks and garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until leeks wilt and just begin to turn golden.

Add potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, stock and pepper.  Mix well, then bring to simmer and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 40 minutes*, until the vegetables are very tender.

Stir in lemon juice and dill.  Taste for salt.  If using, serve yogurt to pass as a garnish.

* NOTES:

I made half a recipe the first time because I had left over raw cabbage.  (The half recipe made enough for two meals, served with some nice crunchy bread. ) So, since I only needed 1 leek and my store only sells them 3 in a bunch, I used about a quarter cup of green onions, mostly white part.

I used the garlic that comes in the jar - I didn't measure it but next time would use a little more (probably close to 1/2 tsp. for half a recipe)

I didn't use dill - fresh or dried.  Didn't have any.  And for the lemon juice, I keep those little yellow squeeze things they sell in the produce department and just squeezed in a couple short squirts.

I DID add a little brown sugar based on a cabbage soup recipe I got from my "then" mother-in-law years and years ago.  Her recipe had meat, tomatoes and cabbage and took longer to make and I didn't use as much sugar as the recipe called for.  So in this batch of soup I probably only used about 1/2 to 3/4 tsp.

I should have added more salt than I did, although the soup is really tasty even without the extra salt.  I was worried that using the chicken broth AND adding salt would make it too salty.  I only used about 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt.

Oh, and last but not least, I cooked it for the 40 minutes and since I was hungry and it was late, I ate it.  But next time I will cook it at least an hour.  I like my cabbage really, really cooked!

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