Cabbage Soup

Soup and StewBudgetGluten-FreeCabbage

Here's an easy, nourishing cabbage soup for cold winter days. Made with just a handful of ingredients and ready in under an hour, the soup is simplicity at its best.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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, it can easily keep a month or two in the fridge, and it is endlessly versatile in recipes. Whether raw in a coleslaw, blanched with butter, stuffed and wrapped, or made into a simple and delicious cabbage soup as we do here, cabbage is a work horse.

Watch how to make cabbage soup

Simple Ingredients for Simple Cabbage Soup

Have you ever looked in your fridge and the only vegetable in good shape looking back at you is a single head of cabbage? Cabbage is like that; it can outlast almost any other vegetable. Now even if all you have in your fridge is some cabbage, there are only a few more pantry ingredients you need to make this easy, nourishing, and light cabbage soup.

To make this simple cabbage soup you only need 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 (we’ll also use Better than Bouillon in a pinch), and a good quality canned tomatoes makes all the difference (we use Muir Glen).

Ways to Adapt This Recipe

Want a little more oomph with your soup? You can easily add other vegetables, like chopped carrots with the onions, or sliced kale with the cabbage, or even bacon or sausage (cook gently before adding the onions), if you want a meatier version.

Easy Cabbage soup in a white bowl

What to Serve with Cabbage Soup

Serve this soup with some rye bread or garlic knots for sopping up all the broth. You can also serve this soup as a side dish with roast chicken, pork chops, or roast beef.

Storing and Freezing Cabbage Soup

This soup will keep in the fridge for about five days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can also freeze the soup for up to three months.

Love Cabbage? Try These Recipes!

Updated January 13, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a new video and some new info to help you make the best soup ever. No changes to the original recipe.

Cabbage Soup Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin 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

Method

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.

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, breaking up tomatoes that are still whole.

5 Serve: Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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107 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Andy Y

    Great recipe. I am not a big fan of tomato flavor, so I substituted an equal amount of mild green chili salsa. I also added chicken to make it a meal. I cooked 3 chicken breasts in the soup while it was cooking. When everything was cooked, I took out the chicken and shredded it. Delicious soup! My wife said she would only eat one bowl, thinking it give her gas, After tasting it, she wanted to eat the whole pot of soup!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Mandy

    Left out tomato. Love the flavor

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Oscar

    It is wonderful!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Rebecca

    I doubled the fennel… it was very good. I used less salt and added salt substitute expecting just “meh”.. surprised at the results!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Gregg

    This is really good soup. I am eating salads everyday with rotisserie chicken and I use the carcass to make the stock for the soup. Good taste – no waste.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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