My grandmother, Eva, was the daughter of a Ukrainian immigrant living in rural Canada. Born with a passion for food and cooking, she loved nothing more than sharing meals with loved ones, friends, and strangers alike. While chicken soup soothed the soul in many households, this sweet and sour cabbage soup was our family’s favorite.
My grandmother would make a big pot of this soup, ladling it into our bowls as we hungrily looked on. She made her soup with beef shank, which simmered on the stove until it was tender and fell apart.
As I grew up and adopted a vegetarian diet, I started to make her cabbage soup vegan. It’s an equally delicious soup that’s pure comfort in a bowl.
The Best Cabbage for Cabbage Soup
I prefer to use green cabbage in this sweet and sour cabbage soup. It’s hearty but breaks down without getting too soft or mushy. Red cabbage will leave you with an odd-colored soup, and napa cabbage doesn’t have the same texture or chew.
Skip a step by buying pre-shredded green cabbage for an even easier recipe!
Make It In the Slow Cooker
Sweet and sour cabbage soup is perfect for the slow cooker. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours. It’ll fill your home with a delicious aroma and can be kept warm until ready to serve.
Sweet and sour cabbage soup is the perfect balance of sweet paprika, acidic lemon juice, and rich brown sugar, packed full of cabbage and tomatoes for a bright-tasting bowl. It’s also easy to tweak:
- For a more filling dish, add a can of white beans to the soup while simmering.
- I love adding peeled and cubed sweet potatoes to the soup (add it with the tomato paste) for a creamy, hearty element.
- Make this a vegetable medley soup by adding your favorite vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower florets, or even green beans. Add softer vegetables like zucchini at the end and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Hearty vegetables like cauliflower can be added with the cabbage.
This sweet and sour cabbage soup recipe freezes incredibly well. I like to store it in one or two-portion containers and freeze for up to 6 months. Whenever I’m short on time, I defrost enough for a meal in the microwave and then reheat.
Vegetarian Soups for Cold Nights
Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), core removed and thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sauté the onion, garlic, tomato paste, and paprika:
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (about 4 to 5 quarts) over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it softens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and paprika and stir. Cook for another minute.
Add the soup ingredients:
Add the cabbage, carrots, and bay leaf to the pot. Pour the broth, crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and brown sugar over the cabbage. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil and adjust the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer until the cabbage is fully cooked and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Finish and serve:
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more sugar or seasoning as needed.
Serve topped with fresh parsley and freshly ground pepper.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 14g|
|Vitamin C 61mg||303%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|