Cabbage Soup

Soup and StewBudgetGluten-FreeCabbage

Healthy, simple cabbage soup, a nourishing soup with cabbage, chicken stock, onions and tomatoes.

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, 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.

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.

Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.


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Cabbage Soup

Showing 4 of 84 Comments / Reviews

  • Annette Cerasuolo

    I doubled the recipe and added chicken base and garlic. I did not use butter or salt and pepper. I used more than double the Fennel, Coriander and Cumin. It taste Great, Smells Great and I will be making it all winter long.

  • Alex

    Fantastic recipe. Cheap, easy, fast, and better than I anticipated. I added some minced garlic in with the onions and dill weed to the seasoning and it hit the spot.

  • Iniki Galway

    Oh, wow! I was halfway through making southern boiled cabbage when I decided I wanted soup instead. I didn’t use an onion but there was loads of garlic in the dish already. Just the addition of the tomatoes and spices (and a little more of my homemade chicken stock) and this was a perfect soup. Super yummy!

  • Gwyn

    This soup is so nice for a cool winter evening. I think the quality of the broth can make a world of difference! I use my own homemade bone broth and it makes most soup (including this one) delish and healthy!

  • 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.

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