This cabbage lentil soup is warm, cozy and loaded with health boosting ingredients like miso and apple cider vinegar. It’s vegan and dairy-free, but still packed with flavor.
There’s nothing more cozy than a big pot of soup simmering on the stovetop on a chilly day. Especially one that feels satisfying and comforting, like a big warm hug, but that is also loaded with healthy, nourishing ingredients. That’s what this cabbage and lentil soup provides.
I’ll be completely honest and say that a cabbage lentil soup doesn’t sound that exciting and it’s not the most photogenic, but you have to trust me on this one… it’s delicious!
It has some additional veggies like onion, garlic and tomatoes, but what really takes this soup to the next level is the miso and apple cider vinegar. Not only do they amp up the health benefits of this soup, they also boost the flavor.
veggies: canned tomatoes, cabbage, onion and garlic
flavor enhancers: apple cider vinegar, basil, bay leaf, white miso paste
pantry staples: olive oil, vegetable stock, ground pepper, sea salt and sriracha
Adding Miso to Soup
Miso is a fermented soy paste that adds a salty, umami flavor to dishes. It is often found in Japanese cuisine, but I love having it on hand to amp up the flavor (and nutrition) of my dishes. For this soup recipe the miso adds a lovely umami flavor. I know it’s hard to justify buying a container of something that you only need 1 teaspoon of, but I strongly encourage you to pick up a tub of miso for this recipe. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of other ways to use it including my soba noodle salad and miso broiled salmon (so good)!
This is the brand of organic miso paste I usually buy. The great thing about miso is that it lasts forever (about a year) in the fridge… it won’t go bad per se, but the flavor will start diminishing after a year.
As I mention, it is a soy product, but there are soy-free miso options made with chickpeas if you don’t consume soy.
Of course, if you don’t have miso on hand, you can still make this soup, you might just need to add additional salt before serving.
Cooking the Lentils
To keep the prep super easy for this soup, I use precooked lentils that I has meal prepped, but you can also purchase cooked lentils from the produce section of the grocery store.
Here’s how to cook the lentils (you can do this 2-3 days in advance):
Rinse 1/2 cup green or brown lentils in a fine mesh sieve and remove any bad lentils or small stones.
Add the rinsed and drained lentils into a saucepan with 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. Drain the lentils and use in the recipe.
Another option is to cook the lentils right in with the soup. For this option, you only need to add 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils (that have been rinsed and sorted). You’ll want to add the lentils when you add the vegetable stock and let the soup simmer for 50-60 minutes or until the lentils are tender. You should also add more vegetable stock or water (around 2 cups) as the cooking lentils will soak up liquid.
Making This Soup in the Instant Pot
I haven’t tried making this soup in the Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, but I know some of you might want to make it this way so if I were to cook this soup in the Instant Pot, here’s what I would do:
Use the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil. Once the hot is hot, add your onions, cook and stir until onion is tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, basil, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pot.
Add stock, 1/2 cup uncooked (rinsed and sorted) lentils, tomatoes, cabbage and sriracha. Stir the mixture to combine, press the cabbage down with a spoon to make sure the mixture is below the maximum capacity line.
Select the Cancel setting. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release.
Once pressure has released, open the pot and stir in the remaining vinegar and miso. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, if needed. Serve warm with a salad, bread or crackers.
1 28ozcanned whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
1/2head green or savoy cabbage
1/2teaspoonsriracha, or more depending on how spicy you like things
1 1/3cupcooked green or brown lentils*
1teaspoonwhite miso paste*
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cook and stir until onion is tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, basil, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pot.
Add stock, canned tomatoes, cabbage and sriracha. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add in cooked lentils and simmer for 20 additional minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the miso paste and and remaining apple cider vinegar.
Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, if needed. Serve warm with a salad, bread or crackers.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or you can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
Mis0: You can use chickpea miso for a soy-free version of this recipe. If you don’t have miso, you can omit it from the recipe, however if you do you will likely find you need to add additional salt and pepper.
Note about the lentils: I like to use previously cooked green lentils for this soup, but you could add 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils that have been rinsed and sorted right in with the soup. If you do this, you’ll want to add the lentils, as well as, 2 additional cups of liquid (water or stock) when you add the tomatoes, cabbage and sriracha. Let the soup simmer for 50-60 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.