Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)
Welcome to Holland is an essay written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley to help parents raising a child with different abilities. In the essay, Kingsley compares the complicated emotions involved to being on an airplane enthusiastically awaiting your arrival in Italy — only to land in Holland.
Holland isn’t Italy. Upon stepping off of the plane, there would be a host of feelings to manage: frustration about your upset travel plans, grief about the incredible art and architecture you’ve missed, anger at the pilot and anyone else you can find to blame, yearning for pasta.
But the point of Kingsley’s essay is that Holland is wonderful too. It’s different, and you’ll never have some of the experiences that you dearly wanted — but you also will have experiences you would’ve missed in Italy. And if you can make peace with where you are, even though the pain doesn’t go away, this twist of life events might surprise you. It might be the best thing that ever happened to you.
It might make you the person you were meant to be.
I don’t have a child with different abilities, or even a child at all — unless you count Byrd and Squirt. But I’ve found that I end up in Holland in lot of different ways throughout life. In fact, I almost never arrive in Italy.
And if I do arrive in Italy, my trip still surprises and disappoints me in so many ways. My luggage was lost. A troupe of guerrilla acrobats was performing in the square. My shoes fell apart. A kind stranger showed me to an incredible café. And on and on and on. Even Italy will never be the exact Italy you planned. You’ll never end up where you planned.
But you will end up where you’re supposed to be. How can you let that truth change your experience?
What is your Holland lately? Do you have advice for appreciating the tulips? Share your thoughts in the comments.
I’m far from a therapist, but I’ve been sharing thoughts lately based on personal experience handling hard times. Read the full series, Managing Life’s Difficult Emotions:
1. Welcome to Holland: Dealing with Life’s Unplanned Detours
2. Radical Acceptance: Help for Dealing with Suffering
3. Opposite Action: Changing Actions to Change Emotions
One year ago: Biscoff Spread Sandy Buddies (Cinnamon Muddy Buddies!)
Two years ago: Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake
Three years ago: Southern Pimento Cheese with Lavash Crackers
Four years ago: Roast Chicken and Onion Jam Panini with Sweet Potato Fries
Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup
Recipe by: Adapted from AllRecipes
Yield: 8 servings
This cabbage soup is simple, warming, and delicious. It’s got a slight kick due to red pepper flakes. Throw your leftover Thanksgiving turkey or anything else you love in it to make it your own, but I love it just the way it is. (Don’t forget the bonus cheese toasts recipe below!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound carrots, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1/2 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
ginger and fennel seed, optional*
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
7 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, drained and diced
*Note: To avoid bloating and gas often associated with cabbage, you can boil it for 10 minutes prior to the recipe. If you have fennel seed and ginger, you can tie the spices up in cheesecloth with some twine to boil along with the cabbage, which is also said to help. After boiling, drain and rinse the cabbage well before using it in the recipe.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, mix carrots and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread them out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender (a knife should easily slide through). While roasting carrots, parboil cabbage as instructed above if desired.
In a large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes, before adding chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then add the tomatoes, cabbage, and roasted carrots. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Easy Cheese Toasts
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 8 servings
These quick, easy cheese toasts are perfect with any hearty winter soup.
8 slices of a baguette
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, chopped into 18 small cubes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place bread slices on baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss together the cheese, butter cubes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Divide the mixture evenly on top of each slice of bread. Bake for a few minutes, watching closely, until bubbly.
24 Comments on Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)
1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts)
[…] floating around in blog world it’s nice to have some healthy main meals to fill up on! This Light and Healthy Cabbage Soup (with Easy Cheese Toasts) sounds […]
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarDecember 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm (9 years ago)
I love cabbage soup! It’s so comforting this time of year!
Julie RubleDecember 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks, Katrina! I agree!
Amanda @ Once Upon a RecipeDecember 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm (9 years ago)
Lovely post Julie. This soup sounds like the perfect way to warm up during these cold months!
Julie RubleDecember 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm (9 years ago)
MonikaDecember 9, 2013 at 2:30 am (9 years ago)
I’ve been following your blog for a while, but have never commented before.
I always love your stories which precede the recipes.
I am actually – literally – going to Holland for New Year’s. By choice :).
My friend who lives there invited us with the words “It’s going to be rainy, foggy and quite cold. Wanna come?” and my boyfriend and I said, “Why, yes, of course we do”.
I know your question was looking for a different answer, but I thought it was a funny coincidence.
Cheers and happy holidays!
Julie RubleDecember 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm (9 years ago)
I love that, Monika! You know, it’s funny, I wondered what someone visiting Holland or who lives there would think of the analogy. I can imagine someone saying, “Holland is preferable, thank you very much.” LOL! Have fun on your trip!
cindy brileyDecember 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm (8 years ago)
Looks and sounds delicious!! Can’t wait to make it.
Mary HenthornMarch 29, 2015 at 9:19 am (8 years ago)
this cabbage soup looks so good was wondering if I could use it on my ww diet I sure hope so
maeOctober 13, 2015 at 3:18 pm (7 years ago)
I didn’t see a way to print this recipe. It sounds delicious and would like to try it but need to print it.
Julie RubleOctober 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm (7 years ago)
Sorry for the inconvenience. I only knew her recipes have a print function right now. I’m working on this. In the meantime, if you’d like to print a recipe, you can copy and paste it into an email to yourself (or onto a note app) and print the email. That’s what I sometimes do.
CarolFebruary 20, 2016 at 10:41 am (7 years ago)
hi Julie – just recently, had a diagnosis of breast cancer – and have discovered “my journey” has been disrupted – again! After reading your comments, mentioned with your Cabbage Soup Recipe, I am realizing, we all have our trials , to overcome. My situation, will be taken care of, but some, will live their lives, on a different path. Thank you .
Julie RubleFebruary 20, 2016 at 11:44 am (7 years ago)
Carol ❤️ I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I hope you will also come read the latest post on my blog, the story that goes along with the coconut tres leches cake. I talk a little more about the journey there, and your words here remind me of it. I’ve stopped trying to predict, but even in doing so, I still feel the unspeakable mercy and love of God in the unknown. Prayers for you on your path, for comfort and healing and security and discernment.
KellyFebruary 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm (7 years ago)
Good Luck Carol on your rerouted journey! I hope this finds you on your way to recovery and healing!
KateFebruary 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm (7 years ago)
May the very best wishes and hopes go.wiyh you on your upcoming journey, Carol! You sound brave and strong and capable of tackling this head on! Good luck to you and lots of hugs and we’ll wishes!!
Amy J.February 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm (7 years ago)
*Hugs*, Carol! Thinking good thoughts for you. <3
CoraFebruary 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm (7 years ago)
All the best to you Carol. Please check back in and let us know how you are. We’ll be here!
SallyFebruary 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm (7 years ago)
Carol, I am a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed with Lobular Carcinoma in October 2011. It IS a journey, one with decisions you never wanted to be faced with, courage you never knew you had, relationships that are more than you expected, and some that are not. Remember this; breast cancer is not a death sentence. It can be treated, and you can survive. Although some don’t, most do. Talk to your doctors, make the decisions based on what is best for YOU. The thing that struck me most about the diagnosis is that it wasn’t like “you have appendicitis and we’re going to remove it” but rather you have breast cancer and these are your options, and they are many. Lumpectomy, mastectomy – one or both depending on genetics, reconstruction now, reconstruction later, and what type. So much information, so many options. Do what you feel is right for YOU. My advice, STAY OFF THE BLOGS! Gather information from reliable sources (The Breast Book is a good option), talk to your doctors, do your research, but stay off the blogs, they will only scare you. There are so many types of breast cancer with different treatments, so everyone is unique in their journey and recovery. Also, if you can, genetics counseling, and I also recommend the Oncotype test. Not all of the insurance companies cover it and it’s about $4,000 BUT there are grants that cover it and even though our income is over $100K we still qualified and didn’t have to pay for it. We owned our home, had 2 kids in college living at home, they asked what our AGI was, the amount of our house payment, and that’s all the information they needed. The reason I am suggesting this test, is that they test the tumor itself and can better determine the course of treatment. Talk to your oncologist about this option. Because my oncologist suggested it, I ended up just needing radiation and not chemo, so the results saved me from 7 months of chemo. Everyone is different, but this can possibly help. Through it all, you will discover the many blessings in your life. The friends who offer rides, companionship, and oh the dinners! It’s not all bad.
On a practical side, this won’t necessarily apply if you have a lumpectomy, but if you have a mastectomy you will likely have to sleep sitting up for a few weeks, preferably in a chair. There are drains, and you have to let gravity take it’s course (it’s not that bad, really!). Make sure you have a comfortable place to rest, a table with everything you might need, including lip balm and chocolate, warm blankets and most importantly, loose button down shirts and jammies. You won’t want to wear anything that goes over your head post-op. No one told me this, but I’m the OCD planner type. LOL. I bought a velour lounge suit and a jogging suit, some button down shirts and some button front jammies. Treat yourself to a nice pair of slip-on slippers and socks too. Also, get some nice liquid body wash, something you LOVE, because if you have drains, you can’t shower, just a sponge bath, and you’ll want to feel and smell good, you can shampoo your hair in the sink. Have some nice lotion handy too. Have any first aid supplies ready like gauze pads and paper tape. By getting ready, you take control of your recovery, and control over cancer. It’s all mental, but that’s half the battle. Pain meds, they give them to you for a reason, so take them, even the muscle relaxers, they help and you won’t be driving so no worries there. And most importantly, I recommend this to anyone having any surgery, Smooth Move Tea. Yes, that’s really a thing. It helps with the constipation that comes from taking pain meds. You can find it in the grocery store or pharmacy area, same brand as the sore throat tea. Also if you have a favorite tea, stock up. It’s nice to be able to make a small pot of tea during the day and sit and enjoy it during recovery. It’s the little things 🙂
Think of the pre-op time as a time to pre-pamper yourself, do some shopping, and get ready. (With those dinners coming, you’ll save money on groceries, so splurge a little on yourself) Most importantly, concentrate on YOU, and your recovery, the rest of the details of daily life will fall into place with the blessings of friendship, family and love. All the best to you, my sister in breast cancer, be well. Love and light to you!
FayJanuary 19, 2019 at 1:09 pm (4 years ago)
I’m lucky so far and have 3 daughters. You write like an angel so sad more won’t see your post. Thanks.
Julie RubleJanuary 20, 2019 at 12:07 am (4 years ago)
Thank you, Fay.
BeckiFebruary 21, 2016 at 10:46 am (7 years ago)
Carol, my best friend’s sister was diagnosed a few years back. Although she did have to undergo surgery, she is healthy (can there be too healthy?!) today and enjoying every minute of her life. You’ve GOT this. God will use you to reach out to others. Bless you.
caroleFebruary 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm (7 years ago)
Carol, I am now a 10 year uterine cancer survivor. Take every day one day at a time and live like you never have. I’ve found that this journey some of us take, really changes our lives. Some days you will be mad, some days sad. In the long run, try to wake up every day and see the beauty before you. It’s a wonderful world and we are lucky to be living at this time when the medical field is doing so much to save lives!!!
KimDecember 6, 2017 at 6:01 pm (5 years ago)
How much fenel seed do you recommend?
Julie RubleDecember 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm (5 years ago)
I usually just put a tablespoon or 2 🙂