There is some obscurity and doubt in my family as to our European heritage on my father’s side. My Pop-Pop says that his family is Polish, but what gets me is my maiden name, Kilian. This sounds decidedly Irish, not to mention the fact that over half of us have red hair… The other thing that causes a fair amount of confusion is that my grandfather grew up on a farm where he learned to speak some Pennsylvania Dutch, which is decidedly neither Polish nor Irish. I suppose we’ll never really know the truth, because despite the fact that we like to sit around and discuss this at length, none of us can be bothered to set up an account on ancestry.com. I think part of the fun is in the not knowing. Besides, I can claim a stake in Polish, Irish and PA Dutch cooking in my kitchen… Not to mention the French on my mother’s side!
Today I’m tapping into my supposedly Polish roots with this recipe for Crock-Pot Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup. If you’ve never tried Kielbasa before, you really should. It’s a smoked and well-spiced Polish sausage-like thing. When the kielbasa is slow cooked with cabbage, root vegetables, and herbs in this soup, the flavors combine into such a tasty medley you won’t believe you’re eating such peasant food. As an added bonus, it’s pretty low in calories, but sticks with you because of the added protein.
So, I hope you have happy St. Patty’s Day this year with my favorite Polska Kielbasa soup! 😜
I’d love to hear more about your family’s ethnic cooking heritage. Are there any traditional foods your family loves?
- 12 oz Polska Kielbasa (uncured if you can find it)
- 5 C roughly chopped cabbage
- ⅔ C diced carrots
- ⅔ C diced sweet onion
- ⅔ C diced rutabaga
- ⅔ C diced turnip
- ½ C diced potato
- ½ C diced fennel
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- ½ tsp dry rosemary
- 6 C low sodium chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan for garnish (optional)
- Prep all of your ingredients by cutting the kielbasa into cubes and largely dicing all of the vegetables.
- Combine all the ingredients in a crock-pot and stir to evenly combine.
- Cover and cook on low in the crock-pot for 6 hours.