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Filled with a rainbow of vegetables, warm and smoky flavors, and white beans for protein, this old fashioned Cabbage Soup recipe is a comfort food favorite that’s so easy to make.

the best cabbage soup recipe in a bowl with a spoon

Why You’ll Love This Easy Cabbage Soup Recipe

  • Surprisingly Flavorful. Carrots and onions are slowly sautéed, then flavored with smoked paprika, cumin, nutmeg, and garlic. Broth, fire roasted tomatoes, rosemary, and bay leaf are added for even MORE flavor. The cabbage wilts to tender perfection, and honey and apple cider vinegar bring it all together.
  • Cabbage in the Spotlight. Cabbage is seriously under-rated! I love it in easy sides like Cabbage Steaks and Sautéed Cabbage, and filling mains like this soup and Slow Cooker Sausage, Cabbage and Potatoes.
  • Hearty and Budget-Friendly. This cabbage soup is chock-full of vegetables and includes protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. The affordable ingredients make it a great way to stretch your grocery dollar, too!
  • Easy to Make. This simple cabbage soup is a one-pot meal and most of the time required to make it is hands-off. Sit back and relax while a low and slow simmer does the work for you!
easy and healthy cabbage soup in a large dutch oven

5 Star Review

“What a treat to taste the finished soup … it was delightful!”

— Judy —

How to Make Cabbage Soup

The Ingredients

  • Carrots, Onion, and Garlic. Sauté to build the backbone of the soup and add a little sweetness.
  • Smoked Paprika. There is a distinct flavor difference between paprika and smoked paprika. Poke around in the more gourmet area of the spice aisle and add this to your cabinet!
  • Cumin and Nutmeg. These warm spices create a warm, inviting flavor and marry with the smoked paprika.
  • Vegetable Broth. Keeps the cabbage soup vegetarian (you can substitute chicken broth if that’s not a concern). Opt for low sodium.
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Look for fire roasted tomatoes over plain diced tomatoes. This is another ingredient that ups the ante on the flavor game.
  • White Beans. Such as cannellini or Great Northern. These add a nice, creamy texture to the dish along with protein.
  • Cabbage. Use green or savoy cabbage for cabbage soup. Choose heads that are tightly bound, and discard any exterior leaves that are wilted. Purple cabbage has a stiffer texture and is a bit more peppery flavor; you can use it in soup, but it will need to simmer longer. Also, be aware that it will turn the soup red.
  • Herbs. Bay leaf and thyme add a fitting earthiness, with fresh parsley sprinkled on top when serving.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Adds acidity to balance the cabbage and prevent it from tasting bitter.
  • Honey. A touch of sweetness rounds out all the flavors.

Dietary Note

Cabbage soup is vegetarian and gluten free. To make vegan, omit the honey or use agave or sugar.

The Directions

sauteeing vegetables for cabbage soup in a large pot
  1. Soften the Veggies. Cook carrots and onion with salt and pepper in a large pot.
sauteed vegetables for cabbage soup recipe
  1. Add the Spices. Stir and cook until fragrant.
ol fashioned cabbage soup in large pot
  1. Simmer. Add remaining ingredients. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the cabbage soup simmer, covered, until the cabbage is very tender, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Serve hot with a garnish of fresh parsley. ENJOY!
cozy easy cabbage soup in a bowl

Recipe Variations

  • Cabbage Soup With Hamburger. Add ground beef into the pot after the vegetables are sautéed. Break up and brown the hamburger meat and brown until cooked through, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. You could also use ground turkey or Italian sausage. Cabbage Roll Soup is a similar option that has rice as well.
  • Cabbage Soup in a Crockpot. This cabbage soup recipe is prepared on the stove top. It could be adapted but I have not tested it (yet!) specifically. For inspiration, check out my Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup.
  • Cabbage Soup With Vegetables. You can add additional veggies to your cabbage soup, such as celery, chopped cauliflower, or spinach. Harder vegetables would be sautéed along with the carrot and onion, and a softer vegetable such as leafy greens would be stirred in at the end until wilted.
easy cabbage soup recipe old fashioned

What to Serve with Cabbage Soup

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cut the Vegetables Evenly. To keep crunchy onions and carrots from ruining your soup experience, cut them all to equal sizes so they finish softening at the same time.
  • Make Sure the Cabbage Is Cut to Spoon Size. Also important! Because no one wants to deal with big, unwieldy pieces of cabbage in their bowl of cabbage soup.
  • Don’t Forget to Remove the Bay Leaf. It’s happened to the best of us!
old fashioned cabbage soup in a bowl

Cabbage Soup

5 from 7 votes
This easy cabbage soup recipe is filling, comforting, and healthy, with carrots, tomatoes, onion, white beans, and tender cabbage. Delish!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and small diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth divided
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 1 15.5-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained such as cannellini or Great Northern
  • 1 very small or 1/2 large green cabbage about 1 pound, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • fresh parsley for serving

Instructions
 

  • In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the carrots, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, turn translucent, and take on some color, about 7 to 9 minutes.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, nutmeg, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add enough of the broth to cover the bottom of the pot. With a wooden spoon, scrape along the bottom to remove any stuck on bits. Add the remaining broth, diced tomatoes, beans, cabbage, bay leaf, rosemary, vinegar, and honey. Stir everything together, then bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let simmer until the cabbage is very tender, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate cabbage soup in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You may also microwave if desired.
  • TO FREEZE: You can freeze cabbage soup. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gPotassium: 438mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 7719IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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14 Comments

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  1. Delicious as written but just wait until you hear what I did to take it over the top by adding another one of your recipes!!! Your Buffalo chicken loving husband is going to love this variation, I’m sure! To your cabbage soup recipe as written, I added about 2 cups of your slow cooker Buffalo chicken (shredded), 2 extra cups of chicken broth and an extra potato. Divine!5 stars

    1. Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! That does sound delish! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I made this soup for the first time yesterday on a drab, chilly day in Indianapolis. I wanted to try it because I’m trying to eat more vegetables. What a treat to taste the finished soup … it was delightful! Tomatoes and beans, soft but crunchy cabbage and spices to give it a wonderful flavor. My Well Plated cookbook is well used and I love getting new ideas from the meal planner and frequent Facebook posts. Thanks, Erin, for all the wonderful meals you’ve given me and for the many more to come!5 stars

  3. Delicious! Surprisingly the nutmeg is a tasty change. It’s kinda sweet but savory, hard to describe, but very delicious.5 stars

  4. Best low calorie cabbage soup I’ve tried, very flavorful. I did add sauteed mushrooms and used Better than Bouillon Smoky Chipotle for broth and a dash of cayenne. Thank you for sharing the recipe.5 stars

  5. This was delicious! Just made this with pulled pork braising liquid in addition to stock, exactly what I was looking for to use that liquid gold. May leave some of the pork in next time. Thanks for the recipe! Definitely a hit5 stars

  6. Best cabbage soup I’ve ever had! The flavors of the spices Erin recommends blend perfectly together.5 stars