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Add the onions, carrots, caraway, and apples, and stir a few minutes. Then wilt in the cabbage and season with black pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. Cover with the lid slightly ajar and wilt cabbage while you prepare the sachet. Fill the cheesecloth with the juniper berries, cloves, bay leaves, orange rind, and cinnamon, and use kitchen twine to tie it to the side of the pot. Drop it into the pot and stir into the cabbage. Add the vinegar, keeping your head back from the hot pot, brown sugar, stock, and water, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until cabbage is very tender and soup has thickened. Stir the bacon bits back in, then adjust the salt to your taste.
Cool and store for a make-ahead meal, or serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.