Cabbage Soup


Cabbage, the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables. It just can’t seem to “get no respect”. While under-appreciated, cabbage really is a wonder vegetable. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it lasts two or three times as long as any other vegetable in the fridge. Whether raw in a coleslaw, blanched with butter, or stuffed and wrapped, cabbage is a work horse.

After a week with the flu, when I looked in my fridge to see what I could make, the only vegetable in good shape looking back at me was a lovely head of cabbage. Thus the spark of inspiration for this cabbage soup. When you’re sick, if you’re up for making anything at all, you want it to be easy, nourishing, and light. Which is exactly what this cabbage soup is. It’s also incredibly good!

All you need is some fresh cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and a few spices. Of course with so few ingredients the quality of the soup relies on the quality of your ingredients. Homemade chicken stock is the best, and a good quality canned tomatoes makes all the difference (we use Muir Glen).

Cabbage Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 to 5 cups, packed, 1/4-inch wide sliced green cabbage (from about 1 small cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock)
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Grind spices if using whole spices: If using whole spices (coriander, fennel, cumin), grind them in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder until well ground.

2 Sauté onions and spices: Heat olive oil and butter in a 4-quart, thick bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir in the ground spices. Cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.


3 Add cabbage and tomatoes: Add the sliced cabbage to the pot and stir to mix the cabbage with the onions. If you are using unsalted stock, sprinkle the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the canned whole tomatoes, with their juices, to the pot. Stir to combine.

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4 Add stock, simmer till done: Add chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt. Add more salt to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked.

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Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.


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Cabbage Soup

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Showing 4 of 85 Comments

  • Rose

    Didn’t know if i would like this soup but girls at work always talk about cabbage dishes. Well I tried this soup and BINGO ! It’s delicious! Boiled with a smoked hock, and added cannelli beans nothing else as to make it simple enough , fast enough. Can’t wait to make this soup for my next function. Did I say delicious? Straight from a speciality restraunt.

  • Mari

    I had a head of cabbage I didn’t know what to do with, so I tried this recipe. It was pretty tasty, but I had to double up on the spices because I could not taste them. I’m not sure this is what I’d call a keeper, but it’s worth trying and I imagine it would not be difficult to tweak it to suit your own tastes.

  • Lana

    I made this last night at a glance, so I didn’t get the measurements right. But it was absolutely delish and probably will be a new super easy inexpensive staple food for me being a busy busy student. Thanks!

  • Suzanne Prael

    I love your recipes! I love cabbage and I’ve been making a fabulous cabbage soup for many years that everyone loves, I’m going to try this recipe to see what it’s like; it sounds delish!
    NOTE: I always simmer a huge ham hock in my cabbage soup until almost falling apart; remove, shred meat from bones and add to soup. I also add beans–kidney, cannellini, any kind! The flavor from the ham hock is fabulous!

  • Kelly

    Made this soup today and it was delicious! Used my own homemade stock and that really makes a difference over canned. I used the spices called for and really liked, my husband loved this soup! Will definitely be making again.

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