Easy Cabbage Soup Recipe

Imagine a chilly evening, a simmering pot on the stove filling the air with comforting aromas, and a bowl of hearty cabbage soup waiting to be savored. For me, cabbage soup isn’t just a dish; it’s a warm hug from my childhood, a reminder of cozy family dinners, and a symbol of nourishment and comfort. Today, I’m excited to share with you my cherished cabbage soup recipe, packed with wholesome ingredients and flavors that will surely warm your soul.

Course and Cuisine: Starter/Soup, Various Cuisines

Cabbage soup is a versatile dish found in various cuisines worldwide, from Eastern European kitchens to Asian households and beyond. It serves as a delicious starter or a light meal, perfect for any season and occasion.

Nutritional Information and Dietary Considerations

Calories per serving: Approximately 150-200 calories (varies based on portion size and ingredients) Dietary information: Cabbage soup is naturally gluten-free, vegan, and low in calories, making it suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Optional: cooked beans (such as kidney beans or white beans) for added protein

Garnishes and Accompaniments:

  • Crusty bread or garlic bread
  • A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese
  • A drizzle of olive oil or hot sauce for extra flavor

Origin and Cultural Significance:

Cabbage soup has a long history across various cultures, often associated with frugality, simplicity, and nourishment. In Eastern European cuisines like Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian, cabbage soup, known as “kapusniak” or “shchi,” is a traditional dish served during cold winters. It symbolizes resilience and resourcefulness, as it can be made with basic ingredients and sustains families through harsh weather conditions.

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations:

  • Use vegetable broth for a vegan version or chicken broth for added depth of flavor.
  • Incorporate different herbs and spices like bay leaves, rosemary, or cumin for a unique twist.
  • Add protein sources such as cooked beans, tofu, or shredded chicken for a heartier soup.

Beverage Pairing:

Cabbage soup pairs well with a variety of beverages, including:

  • Crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • Light beer such as Pilsner or Lager
  • Herbal tea like chamomile or mint for a soothing option

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Overcooking the cabbage, leading to mushy texture and loss of nutrients.
  • Adding too much salt initially, as flavors intensify during cooking.
  • Using canned vegetables instead of fresh for optimal flavor and texture.

Health Benefits of Key Ingredients:

  • Cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and fiber, supporting immune health and digestion.
  • Carrots provide beta-carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants, promoting eye health and skin glow.
  • Garlic offers immune-boosting properties and adds depth of flavor to the soup.
cabbage soup
cabbage soup

Regional Variations:

While cabbage soup is a staple in Eastern European cuisines, you may find variations in other regions, such as Asian cabbage soups with added ginger and soy sauce, or Mediterranean versions with tomatoes and herbs like oregano and basil.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • Shred the cabbage, dice the carrots and celery, and chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Cook the Soup Base:
    • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
    • Add the diced carrots and celery, and cook until slightly softened.
    • Stir in the shredded cabbage and cook for a few minutes until wilted.
  3. Add Liquid and Seasonings:
    • Pour in the vegetable broth or water, diced tomatoes (with their juices), dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
    • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Adjust Consistency and Flavor:
    • If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water until you reach your desired consistency.
    • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve and Garnish:
    • Ladle the hot cabbage soup into bowls.
    • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and any optional garnishes like a dollop of sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil.
    • Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread on the side.

Troubleshooting:

  • If the soup is too watery, simmer uncovered for a few more minutes to reduce the liquid.
  • If the flavors are lacking, add more herbs and spices or a splash of vinegar or lemon juice for acidity.

Essential Kitchen Tools:

  • Large pot or Dutch oven for soup preparation
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board for chopping vegetables
  • Wooden spoon or ladle for stirring and serving
  • Soup bowls and spoons for serving

Sustainability Practices:

Choose locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible to support sustainable agriculture practices. Utilize reusable containers for storing leftovers and minimize food waste.

Flavor Profile and Texture:

Cabbage soup boasts a comforting and nourishing flavor profile, with the sweetness of carrots and onions balancing the earthiness of cabbage. The soup’s texture is hearty yet light, making it satisfying without feeling heavy, perfect for a wholesome meal.

Best Occasions to Serve:

Cabbage soup is ideal for chilly days or when you’re craving a cozy, comforting meal. It’s perfect for family dinners, gatherings with friends, or as a nutritious option for lunch or dinner any day of the week. Enjoy it as a starter or make it the star of your meal with hearty accompaniments like crusty bread or a side salad.

cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is a versatile dish found in various cuisines worldwide, from Eastern European kitchens to Asian households and beyond. It serves as a delicious starter or a light meal, perfect for any season and occasion.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 150 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium head of cabbage shredded
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 can 14 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
  • Optional: cooked beans such as kidney beans or white beans for added protein

Instructions
 

Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Shred the cabbage, dice the carrots and celery, and chop the onion and garlic.

Cook the Soup Base:

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the diced carrots and celery, and cook until slightly softened.
  • Stir in the shredded cabbage and cook for a few minutes until wilted.

Add Liquid and Seasonings:

  • Pour in the vegetable broth or water, diced tomatoes (with their juices), dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Adjust Consistency and Flavor:

  • If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve and Garnish:

  • Ladle the hot cabbage soup into bowls.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and any optional garnishes like a dollop of sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread on the side
Keyword Cabbage Soup, Cabbage Soup Recipe