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Chilly weather is no match for this Hearty Cabbage Soup! Easy to make with a whole head of cabbage, warming spices, big chunks of veggies, and a flavorful broth, it’s a delicious one-pot meal full of plant-based goodness. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Option.
Maybe you don’t get hit with cabbage cravings right now, but you will after trying this Hearty Cabbage Soup. The satisfying blend of veggies, yummy spices, and rich broth is too good to pass up! Plus, because it’s a simple, one-pot, 35-minute meal, you can cozy up with a bowl in no time.
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A Bowl of Hearty and Satisfying Goodness
Weight loss cabbage soup? Cabbage soup diet? Never heard of ‘em. This not-so-traditional Vegan Cabbage Soup is wholesome, filling, and nourishing thanks to a whole head of cabbage and large chunks of melt-in-your-mouth, creamy potatoes. A medley of fresh veggies and warming spices also swim in the flavor-rich broth, leaving you with a cozy meal that’s satisfying and tastes indulgent!
I adore cabbage and you will too after digging into a big bowl of this steaming hot soup. What’s better is that, as a one-pot, 35-ish minute meal, it’s a perfect feel-good soup to enjoy during long chilly winters or busy weeknights.
What You Need for Vegan Cabbage Soup
A blend of wholesome plant-based ingredients and tasty spices goes into this budget-friendly meal:
- Mirepoix: A classic soup veggie mix made from diced onion, celery, and carrots. They start the soup off with mouthwatering layers of savory flavor.
- Caraway seeds: The seeds are toasted in oil to bring their wonderful hidden flavors to the forefront. They’re technically an optional ingredient, but I think they complement the cabbage flavor perfectly!
- Gold potatoes: Not a traditional cabbage soup ingredient but they bring so much hearty goodness to every bite. Gold potatoes are my favorite because they practically melt into the soup but Russet potatoes are a good (though less creamy) substitute.
- Green cabbage: Can you believe a whole (small) head of green cabbage goes into the soup?! It’ll look like a lot of cabbage at first as it fills the bot, but don’t worry – it doesn’t take long to cook down and tenderize.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: I prefer to use fire-roasted crushed tomatoes for a greater depth of flavor. Regular tomatoes work well in a pinch, but fire-roasted brings so much more to the soup if you can find them!
- Vegetable broth: I like to use homemade vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon for this soup but a low-sodium store-bought broth works well, too. If you don’t have low-sodium broth, I recommend using a 50-50 mix of broth and water so the soup isn’t too salty.
How to Make Cabbage Soup
- Sauté the mirepoix in a large, oiled pot until it starts to brown.
- Next, stir in the garlic, black pepper, thyme, and caraway seeds, and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in the potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the cabbage is tender and translucent.
- Ladle the soup into bowls topped with freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Don’t be afraid of the mountain of cabbage at first. The potato and cabbage soup will be really thick when you first add the cabbage, but don’t worry! As it releases more liquid, the cabbage will cook down and the soup consistency will thin.
- Want to bulk it up? I’d recommend adding extra potatoes, chickpeas, or white beans (Cannellini, Navy, or Great Northern) if you want an even heartier, protein-packed meal.
- Go heavy on the black pepper. Much like the other spices, freshly ground black pepper adds a lot of flavor and rounds out the rest of the soup.
I personally think there’s no better way to enjoy this than with a piece of crusty bread to soak up all of the delicious broth! In addition, lots of freshly ground black pepper and even a scoop of sauerkraut on top is *chef’s kiss*. You can even serve it with a side of cooked quinoa, crispy tofu, or baked tempeh for a boost of protein.
How to Store Cabbage Soup
The leftover cabbage soup can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remember to let the cooked soup cool to room temperature before covering and storing.
Substitutions and Variations
- Oil-Free Option: Start the recipe by dry toasting the caraway seeds over medium heat in a large pot for 60 to 90 seconds or until fragrant. Then pour in a 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth and proceed with the recipe as written, adding more liquid as necessary to prevent the seeds and aromatics from sticking.
- Potato Substitutions: I personally love white potatoes in cabbage soup but you can swap them for cauliflower florets if you’d like. Sweet potatoes could also be used as a substitute but the flavor of the soup will be slightly different.
- Add Herbs and Spices: Cabbage is so versatile and pairs great with a long list of herbs and spices, like red pepper flakes, fresh herbs (dill, thyme, tarragon, parsley, etc.), fennel seeds, white pepper, etc. Add what you like to play with the flavors!
I recommend dicing the cabbage into bite-sized pieces for this soup. Cut the cabbage head into wedges, remove the core from each, and slice into 1-inch bites. Check out these step-by-step instructions from Homemade In The Kitchen for more help!
Yes, the cabbage is overcooked when it’s very soft or pretty much falling apart in the soup. Just keep simmering until it’s translucent and tender with a slight bite.
Sure. In the crockpot, this cabbage soup will take about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Hearty Cabbage Soup
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 sticks of celery sliced
- 4 carrots peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed optional, but strongly recommended
- 2 cups gold potatoes peeled and diced
- 10-12 cups green cabbage chopped into 1” pieces
- 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or 4 cups broth, 4 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Aromatics: Warm the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the garlic, black pepper, thyme, and caraway seed and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Simmer: Add the potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and vegetable broth to the pot and stir well. The soup may look overly thick right now, but the cabbage will release more liquid as it cooks. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and translucent.
- Serve: Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Ladle the soup into serving bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper, or as desired. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Oil-Free: To add more flavor to the soup I recommend dry toasting the caraway seeds over medium heat for 60 to 90 seconds, until fragrant. Then add 1/4 cup of water or additional vegetable broth to the pan and proceed with the recipe as written, adding more liquid to the pan as necessary to prevent sticking.