Cabbage Soup

DF GF V VG

This cabbage soup is incredibly healthy, loaded with flavor and packed full of veggies. It’s made with simple ingredients and comes together quickly for a nourishing meal that’s perfect for cold days. Dairy-free + vegan. 

Do you overlook cabbage? I feel like it’s the forgotten vegetable! Cabbage is an unassuming nutrition powerhouse. It’s low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This cabbage soup is loaded with vegetables and flavor yet is super simple to make!

A birds eye view of a bowl of cabbage soup, there is a second bowl cut out of frame.

Why You Need to Make This Soup

  • It’s the perfect meal to make on a cold fall or winter day!
  • Made in just one pot, it’s super easy clean up.
  • It’s dairy-free and vegan making it perfect for your friends and family members with food restrictions or intolerances.
Ingredients measured out to make cabbage soup: applesauce, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, diced tomatoes, onion, olive oil, cinnamon, vegetable stock, cabbage, carrots, celery and apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients Needed

  • olive oil – to sauté the vegetables in. Avocado oil also works.
  • vegetables – you’ll sauté chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic for a delicious flavor base.
  • dried thyme – other than cinnamon, this is the only added spice. It compliments the vegetables perfectly.
  • cinnamon – optional but it adds flavor depth to this soup!
  • bay leaf – adds a wonderful flavor to soup! While cooking, the bay leaf releases flavors. You’ll remove the leaf before serving.
  • sea salt and pepper – to bring out the flavors of the dish.
  • apple cider vinegar – when shopping for ACV, look for a brand that’s unpasteurized with “the mother” included. This is where all the nutrients are. I personally recommend Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. It’s organic, raw and the best of the best. Just a splash of ACV will deglaze the pot after sautéing the vegetables and will help brighten the flavors of the soup.
  • vegetable stock or broth – I recommend using low sodium stock or broth so you can control how salty the soup turns out. You can always add salt but you can’t remove it!
  • unsweetened applesauce – I know this sounds like a strange addition, but it really helps balance the flavors of the soup and adds a touch of sweetness! You can use store-bought applesauce or easily make homemade applesauce.
  • diced tomatoes – I used canned diced tomatoes for a shortcut.
  • green cabbage – the star of the show! After washing the cabbage, chop into 1 1/2 inch chunks.
  • fresh parsley – optional for garnish but I love adding fresh herbs to my soups!
Collage of four photos showing the steps to make cabbage soup.

How to Make Cabbage Soup

Start by sautéing the vegetables in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the chopped onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables have softened a bit and are fragrant, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pot.

Add the vegetable broth, applesauce, canned tomatoes and cabbage and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the remaining apple cider vinegar and serve topped with fresh parsley.

An overhead photo looking at a pot of cabbage soup. It has been topped with fresh cilantro.

Cabbage Soup Variations

  • Protein – Want to add some protein to this soup? Go for it! It would be delicious with ground turkey or beef added to it. For a vegan protein option this soup would be delicious with white beans or lentils added in. PS: I do have an amazing cabbage lentil soup if you’re interested in checking that out!
  • Add carbs – Make this soup heartier by adding in chopped potatoes or cooked brown/white rice. If adding potatoes, add them with the carrots and onions and if adding cooked rice you can stir it in directly to the soup once it’s done cooking.
  • Thicken it up – If you prefer a thicker soup you can easily thicken this soup up by adding tomato paste or even a can of mashed white beans.
  • Add spice – If you’re a fan of spice feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes! I kept the base recipe on the milder side.
A birds eye view of a bowl of cabbage soup topped with fresh cilantro.

How to Serve Cabbage Soup

My favorite way to serve brothy vegetable soups is with fresh bread! I recommend serving with sourdough bread or whole wheat honey brown bread. If you want added crunch, I would serve it with my 4-ingredient almond flour crackers. If you’re looking for more protein, serve this with a side of apple cider vinegar chicken, air fryer tofu or marinated tempeh.

Storage Tips

After allowing the soup to cool slightly, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. You can also freeze this soup for up to 3 months. To defrost, take the soup out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can place the frozen soup (still in the sealed storage container) in a large bowl or pot of hot water to speed up the defrosting process.

A spoon is holding up a bite of cabbage soup. The spoon is directly overtop of a bowl of the soup.

More Cabbage Recipes to Try

More Soup Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of the cabbage recipes here on EBF as well as my full collection of popular soup recipes.

Cabbage Soup

5 from 12 votes
This cabbage soup is incredibly healthy, loaded with flavor and packed full of veggies. It's made with simple ingredients and comes together quickly for a nourishing meal that's perfect for cold days. Dairy-free + vegan. 
A birds eye view of a bowl of cabbage soup, there is a second bowl cut out of frame.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small green cabbage, chopped in 1 ½ inch chunks (about 1 pound or 8 cups)
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, stirring occasionally until veggies have softened and are fragrant, about 7 minutes.
    Onion, carrots and celery sautéing in a large pot.
  • Stir in garlic, thyme, cinnamon (if using), bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 additional minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pot.
    Garlic, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt and pepper added to the vegetables in a large pot.
  • Add vegetable broth, applesauce, canned tomatoes and cabbage and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until cabbage is thoroughly cooked and tender.
    Vegetable broth, applesauce, canned tomatoes and cabbage added to a large pot. The vegetable broth is being poured in.
  • Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and stir in the remaining apple cider vinegar.
    Pouring in remaining apple cider vinegar to the pot of cabbage soup. The bay leaf has been removed.
  • Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, if needed. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley.
    Topping the cabbage soup with fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • Protein – This soup would be delicious with ground turkey or beef added to it. For a vegan protein option you can try white beans or lentils. Also check out my cabbage lentil soup.
  • Add carbs – Make this soup heartier by adding in chopped potatoes or cooked brown/white rice. If adding potatoes, add them with the carrots and onions and if adding cooked rice you can stir it in directly to the soup once it’s done cooking.
  • Thicken it up – If you prefer a thicker soup you can easily thicken this soup up by adding tomato paste or even a can of white beans. Just drain, rinse, mash and add to the soup.
  • Add spice – If you’re a fan of spice feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 154kcal Carbohydrates: 28g Protein: 5g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 527mg Potassium: 1061mg Fiber: 8g Sugar: 15g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cabbage soup

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    8 comments
    1. Judy
      March 9, 2022 AT 11:44 am

      5 stars
      Made this for dinner last night and it was great. I had a couple of apples so used them to make a quick applesauce. Recipe was easy and delicious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 10, 2022 AT 8:32 am

        Yum! Sounds like a delicious dinner, Judy! Thanks for sharing and leaving a review, I really appreciate it.

    2. Lynda Jones
      February 4, 2022 AT 11:54 am

      5 stars
      I made this yesterday during the great “snowmegeddon.” It is excellent! And perfect after digging my car out of the snow. I added ground turkey and some chopped kale. (I don’t particularly like kale and this dish disguised it well. Thanks!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 7, 2022 AT 9:06 am

        So glad you loved this recipe, Lynda! Thanks for the review and for letting me know what changes you made!

    3. Rachel
      January 26, 2022 AT 6:06 pm

      This was so yummy and a great weekday lunch or meal. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 26, 2022 AT 11:37 pm

        Happy to hear, Rachel! Thanks for trying it out and coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    4. Caitlyn
      January 24, 2022 AT 11:27 am

      Hi! This looks delish and I am wondering if you think Nappa Cabbage would be OK to use in place of green cabbage? I have a head of it sitting in my fridge that needs to be put to good use and this recipe seems perfect for it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 25, 2022 AT 6:39 am

        Hi Caitlyn! Yes, I’m sure Napa cabbage would be fine to use! Let me know what you think of the soup if you try it!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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