Cabbage Lentil Soup

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.

Cabbage lentil soup portioned into one bowl with gold spoon.

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.

Cabbage lentil soup in a stock pot with fresh basil on top.

Ingredients Needed

  • veggies: canned tomatoes, cabbage, onion and garlic
  • flavor enhancers: apple cider vinegar, basil, bay leaf, white miso paste
  • beans: green or brown lentils
  • pantry staples: olive oil, vegetable stock, ground pepper, sea salt and sriracha

Ingredients needed for cabbage lentil soup with a white tile background.

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.

Cabbage lentil soup portioned into two white bowls with gold spoons on the side.

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.

Cabbage lentil soup portioned into one bowl with gold spoon.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

What to Serve With Cabbage Lentil Soup

In my mind, soup naturally pairs well with a lovely salad, but bread or crackers work nicely with this soup because it gives you something to soak up the flavorful broth. For salads to pair with this, I recommend this Fuji apple salad or my beet salad with arugula. For bread and crackers, you could do pumpkin cornbread muffins, almond crackers or crusty bread.

More Lentil Recipes To Try:

If you make this cabbage lentil soup, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Cabbage lentil soup portioned into one bowl with gold spoon in soup.

Cabbage Lentil Soup


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This cabbage lentil soup is warm, cozy and loaded with health boosting ingredients like miso and apple cider vinegar.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh basil)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt + more, to taste
  • 1/4 ground pepper + more, to taste
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 28 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
  • 1/2 head green or savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or more depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked green or brown lentils*
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste*

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, if needed. Serve warm with a salad, bread or crackers.
  4. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or you can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • 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.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 846mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: cabbage lentil soup

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    29 comments
    1. Laura Marie
      October 5, 2020 AT 12:46 pm

      Can you give directions on making this either in a slow cooker or stovetop?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 6, 2020 AT 12:06 pm

        Hey Laura – the instructions are for the stovetop. 🙂

    2. Mayya
      May 17, 2020 AT 5:34 pm

      I love this soup! It has so many complex flavours and is super satiating.

    3. Braxton
      January 27, 2019 AT 11:24 am

      Love this soup. I make a large batch up and freeze some. Tastes great and healthy too. Thanks.

    4. Frank Sisak
      February 2, 2018 AT 5:54 pm

      I’ve been making this soup for years in order to keep my diabetes under control. It does wonders & I even make it in the summer time. When I stray away from my diabetes diet Love it.

    5. Jean D.
      October 26, 2017 AT 7:28 pm

      I made this tonight in my Instant Pot, 15 minutes manual high pressure, at least 10 minutes slow release. I skipped the oil, sauteing onions and garlic in vegetable broth instead. Mine wasn’t terribly pretty, as I used red cabbage instead of green, but it was definitely delicious.

      A keeper!

      1. Lorenza
        November 10, 2019 AT 9:12 am

        I made it in the Instapot following Jean’s suggestion – 15 minutes on high pressure. Unlike Jean I did sautee the onions and garlic, and used green cabbage. And, 15 minutes was all it took (and I used raw, red lentils). Delicious. I will keep this recipe.

        1. Brittany Mullins
          November 10, 2019 AT 7:27 pm

          So glad the Instapot worked for you, Lorenza! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, I so appreciate it.

      2. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2017 AT 9:33 pm

        Oh! I love that you turned this into an Instant Pot recipe — so quick! Soups like this are never that pretty. You should have seen me trying to get these photos. 🙂

    6. Kirsten
      March 4, 2016 AT 12:01 am

      I have to chime in and say how delicious this was! I didn’t have high hopes but the larder was pretty bare and this fit what I had on hand. I used lamb stock and it was really amazing – will make in the future for sure!

    7. leah
      February 1, 2016 AT 1:40 pm

      yummy! thanks 🙂

    8. Richard Lynch
      January 13, 2016 AT 11:36 am

      Looked this up after trying nearly the same thing. Used chicken stock and olive oil brine (which is a great ingredient). I carmelized the onion and cabbage which will sweeten the result. Try it.

      Thinking of starting a frugal home cooking vlog.

    9. Loryn
      January 27, 2015 AT 4:03 pm

      This looks delicious, I totally plan on making this! One thing I would add however, is that the miso shouldn’t be boiled! Miso has all sorts of amazing probiotics and tons of enzymatic digestive benefits being a fermented food, but both probiotics and enzymes are living organisms that cannot withstand boiling temperatures. Just my two cents for those who are looking to get the full health benefits of the miso!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 27, 2015 AT 4:25 pm

        Oh wow, I actually never knew this so I’m glad you commented. I’ll know not to boil it from here on out!

    10. laura
      April 6, 2014 AT 1:30 pm

      This soup is so yummy, comforting, and warming that I’m making another, second, dou le batch this week. It is extra good sprinkled with crispy home made coconut bacon. 😉

    11. Kristina
      February 18, 2014 AT 2:06 am

      Made this tonight. It’s a really good ummm what can I make with what I have in the pantry sort of soup. Nice SBS hearty.

      1. Eating Bird Food
        February 18, 2014 AT 10:28 am

        So glad you liked it Kristina!

    12. Zoe @ Chocolate Covered Chia
      February 2, 2014 AT 2:13 pm

      This sounds perfect for the cold wintery season that is upon us! Can’t wait to try it out.

    13. Traci
      February 1, 2014 AT 8:42 pm

      Looks delicious, and a little out of my comfort zone! So…I’m saving the recipe. :]

    14. Lily
      February 1, 2014 AT 2:26 pm

      I’m a long time reader of your blog but don’t comment much. I made a variation of your lentil soup last night. I used red cabbage instead of green and organic chicken broth. It was incredibly delicious! Even my husband loved it and said make sure you book mark this recipe so you can make it again! I absolutely love your blog and your delicious recipes 🙂

      1. Eating Bird Food
        February 1, 2014 AT 10:45 pm

        Hi Lily — Thank you so much for commenting and for trying the lentil soup. I’m pumped that both you and your husband enjoy it!!

    15. Emily @SinfulNutrition
      January 31, 2014 AT 8:31 pm

      I am so making this on the weekend! Love everything about this!

    16. Kira – HealthAble Old Soul
      January 31, 2014 AT 8:12 pm

      Cabbages and lentils are so tasty! It is like Amy’s Organics soups except even better because it’s home made!

    17. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
      January 31, 2014 AT 3:53 pm

      This looks really delicious! Can’t wait to try it out!

    18. Christine (The Raw Project)
      January 31, 2014 AT 12:39 pm

      This looks wonderful, thanks! I’m such a huge cabbage fan that I even add it to smoothies. 🙂

    19. Morganne @ Nut Butter Runner
      January 31, 2014 AT 11:56 am

      This looks fantastic! I love the use of the ACV in it 🙂 Definitely going on my list of things to make!

    20. Brittany
      January 31, 2014 AT 11:54 am

      This sounds delicious! I was called an old lady for liking cabbage the other day, glad to see someone else likes it too! Will be giving this a try on one of these snowy days we’ve been having.

    21. Sammy
      January 31, 2014 AT 10:19 am

      mmm sounds delicious and homey! You should try the Coconut Lentil Soup that I made recently from Redbook! mmm!!

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