Vegetarian cabbage soup is super satisfying, high in fiber, low in calories, inexpensive to make, and loaded with vegetables! Vegan, gluten-free.
*This post isn’t sponsored but I did receive a free produce box from Calorganic farms that I used to create this vegetarian cabbage soup recipe.
**This post contains affiliate links.
If you ask me, cabbage is one of the most overlooked vegetables. It’s inexpensive, super healthy, you can prepare it so many different ways, and it tastes different (crispy, crunchy, sweet) but equally delicious in each recipe. We love roasted cabbage steaks, creamy ginger coleslaw, lentil stuffed cabbage rolls, and especially cabbage soup! When I received my Calorganic produce box this month and saw the beautiful head of green cabbage, collard greens, and carrots, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner!
I’ve tried a lot of cabbage soup recipes but this is my favorite! This healthy cabbage soup is simple to make, it’s made of easy to find plant-based ingredients, and it’s loaded with flavor! You’re going to love the sweet flavor of the cabbage, the satisfying creamy beans, tender carrots, the mild flavor of the leeks, and the beautiful pop of bright green collards. I really hope you try it and love it as much as I do.
Note – Yes, I know the title of this post is “vegetarian cabbage soup” but this is actually a cabbage soup vegan recipe. Why didn’t I name it “vegan cabbage soup?” Because people search for vegetarian cabbage soup more than vegan cabbage soup for some reason. Beats me!
How To Make Vegetarian Cabbage Soup
This homemade vegetable soup with cabbage is so stinking inexpensive and easy to make! Begin by sauteing the leeks (or onion), sliced carrots, and minced garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Then add all of the dry seasonings and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Next, add the vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, chopped green cabbage, beans, and collard greens to the pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover it and let it cook for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the soup, stir, and serve with a warm crusty baguette or a baked potato.
What Are The Benefits of Cabbage Soup
The benefits of vegetarian cabbage soup are endless! This soup is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B6, and folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Cabbage is also full of gut-healthy insoluble fiber which can help improve your digestion and keep you regular. If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of cabbage soup, read this article.
What Spices Can You Add to Cabbage Soup?
To keep this simple cabbage soup recipe easy to make, I only used a few spices for flavor. I recommend using smoked paprika, turmeric (to give the broth a beautiful golden color), a bay leaf, chili flakes, and Italian seasoning because it’s a mixture of thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, and marjoram.
Can I Use Red Cabbage Instead of Green in Soup?
Yes, that’s a fantastic idea! If I have a choice, I always pick the naturally brighter colored food– especially if it’s red (purple) cabbage! Purple vegetables are high in antioxidants that your body needs and thrives on. That’s exactly why I make our favorite vegan cabbage rolls with red cabbage instead of green cabbage.
The only drawback is that the color tends to leach from the red cabbage and dye the water that it’s cooking in. You can try to stop this from happening by adding two tbsp of fresh lemon juice to the soup when you add the cabbage. Omit the one tbsp of lemon juice at the end of the recipe.
Is This a Spicy Cabbage Soup Recipe?
No, this is not a spicy cabbage soup recipe. I only use 1/4 tsp of red chili flakes for flavor but it doesn’t make it spicy at all. If you want to give this soup a spicy kick then I would recommend adding 1/4 tsp (more to taste) fo cayenne pepper to the soup as well. For some reason, when I think of a spicy soup I think of a tomato-based soup. So, if it were me, I would also add a 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and 2 tbsp of tomato paste.
Can You Make Cabbage Soup With Sausage?
Yes, that’s a great idea! My husband and I both love the 4-pack of Field Roast vegan sausages (this is not sponsored, I just really love their product). On nights when we need a super quick dinner, we love the vegan sausages served in hot dog buns and loaded with sauerkraut and mustard. We usually only eat one sausage roll each so I tend to make soup the next night so I can use up the rest of the sausages. I would recommend adding sliced Italian sausages to this cabbage soup recipe if you’re looking to add a meat replacement, I think it would be delicious!
Is This a Detox Cabbage Soup Recipe?
Technically, I guess you could call it a detox cabbage soup because it’s so low in calories and fat but I don’t think of it that way. I know a lot of people who recommend doing a 3-day soup detox or a vegetarian cabbage soup diet to get back on track after the holidays or after eating not-so-healthy food choices. In my opinion, you shouldn’t have to detox your body if you’re consistently feeding it healthy, plant-based, whole foods. To me, this is just a delicious plant-based vegetable and bean soup.
Do You Have To Put Beans in The Soup?
I’ve made this soup without beans before but it just wasn’t filling enough for me, I want to feel satisfied after I eat! I prefer beans in this soup because I love beans and it makes it super satisfying but you could also use any type of diced potatoes (sweet, russet, golden, purple) to make this a vegetarian cabbage potato soup. Or if you’re trying to keep this soup super low in calories then omit the beans and potatoes completely and add cauliflower rice for a healthy cauliflower cabbage soup.
How Long is Cabbage Soup Good For?
I would recommend storing the cabbage soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days at the most in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat it within that time frame then freeze half of it the same day you make it.
Can Cabbage Soup be Frozen?
Yes! This cabbage soup can definitely be frozen and it freezes very well. When you’re ready to eat it, take the soup out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Then transfer the leftover cabbage soup to a pot and heat it up on the stove.
Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup Instructions
It’s very easy to make slow cooker cabbage soup, just follow the next instructions. Simply put all of the ingredients (minus the lemon and possibly the greens depending on what type you use) into the slow cooker and set it to cook for 3-4 hours on high. If you use fresh spinach or swiss chard instead of collard greens, I would add them in at the end so they don’t get too soft while cooking in the slow cooker for 4 hours. Squeeze the lemon juice over the soup and stir it in right before serving.
Tips For Making The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe
- Don’t be alarmed when you chop the cabbage. I know it looks like a lot but once it’s cooked it will wilt down a lot.
- You can use red or green cabbage for this cabbage soup recipe, it won’t change the flavor at all.
- You don’t have to use collard greens for this soup, you could sub kale, spinach, or swiss chard. You whatever you can find that’s fresh (or frozen), organic, affordable, or local.
- I love beans in this low-fat cabbage recipe but you could also substitute lentils, quinoa, barley or potatoes if you’re not a fan of beans.
- If you can’t find leeks, substitute a red onion (remember, go for the brightest option!) instead.
More Healthy Cabbage Recipes You’ll Love
If you make this simple cabbage soup recipe, please post a picture of it on Instagram, tag me @Stacey_Homemaker and use the #StaceyHomemaker so I can see your yummy creation!
Best Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable broth)
- 4 leeks, sliced
- 5 medium carrots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 3 cups water
- (2) 14 oz cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 large head of green cabbage (or 1 entire small head), chopped
- 1 bunch (5-6 leaves) collard greens, thinly sliced (or use a 10oz bag of frozen collards)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
- In a large soup pot or 5-quart dutch oven, saute the leeks, carrots, and garlic in olive oil (or vegetable broth) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add all of the dry seasonings, salt, pepper, and the bay leaf. Mix well and let it cook for 2 additional minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, beans, chopped cabbage, and sliced collard greens to the pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for 25-30 minutes. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the soup and stir it into the soup. Serve!
- You can substitute potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, quinoa, or barley for the great northern beans.
- You can substitute kale, spinach, or swiss chard for the collard greens.
- You can use red cabbage instead of green cabbage, it won't impact the flavor at all but it might change the color of the soup. You can add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to the soup when you add the cabbage to help stop the color from leaching out of the cabbage. Omit the lemon juice at the end of the recipe.