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With less than 150 calories per serving, this warming and tasty vegetarian cabbage soup is one of the healthiest and cheapest soup recipes ever, and it’s ready in less than 30 MINUTES.
Not only is this soup a quick, healthy, detox, low calorie, and low carb meal, but it’s so GOOD!
It’s not watery or boring, and it doesn’t taste of boiled cabbage, but it’s a filling, hearty soup with a great chili kick that warms you up. And it’s packed with flavor, texture and lots of vegetables cooked in a rich tomato broth.
Yes, plenty of onion, carrots, celery, cabbage, and cauliflower.
The amazing cauliflower is perfect to thicken this soup and sometimes I use it as a low carb substitute for potatoes. Then I add chili flakes, paprika, and ground coriander to boost the flavor and you know what?
My husband and I love it (and he’s not the world’s biggest fan of cabbage, just saying : )
More nutrients, fewer calories, but tons of flavor, the right amount of spices, and a delicious thick texture.
What about crusty bread to dunk?
What ingredients you need
- Cauliflower or potato (optional)
- Canned tomatoes
- Onion, carrots, celery
- Bay leaves
- Spices (paprika, chili flakes, ground coriander)
- Vegetable broth
- Salt & pepper
RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
You’ll love this vegetarian cabbage soup, it costs about $1 per portion per portions, it’s packed with vegetables and it’s on the table in no time!
IS CABBAGE GOOD FOR YOU?
YES. Cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and has an outstanding nutritional profile. It’s particularly high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Also, cabbage is extremely low on calories and carbs: according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 half cup of shredded cooked cabbage (75 grams) contains 17 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate.
However, despite its low calorie/carb content, this cabbage soup is healthy because it is loaded with vegetables and nutrients and you’ll get your 5-a-day all in one big bowl of warming soup!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CABBAGE SOUP TASTE GOOD?
Start cooking slowly plenty of diced carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in a bit of olive oil. In Italy, this is called “soffritto” and creates a flavorsome base for basically any savory dish. To create a more complex flavor, add to this vegetable base the spices and the bay leaves.
Both cauliflower and tomatoes make this soup richer. Plus, if you whiz up the soup just a little bit using a blender stick, or transferring some into a blender then add it back, the soup will get a thicker texture. You can swap cauliflower for a medium-sized potato, they both make the soup thicker. Skip both if you wish.
Serve with chili flakes, they make a huge difference!
MORE LIGHT SOUPS
Or if you look for another cabbage recipe, you might like this crunchy cabbage salad with apples.
If you try this delicious vegetarian cabbage soup, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram.
I would love to hear from you!
Best vegetarian cabbage soup
- 1 lb (450 grams) cabbage, shredded
- 1 can (14oz/400 grams) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 lb (220 grams) cauliflower or potatoes, cut into chunks* (optional)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes, or according to your taste
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)
- salt & pepper, according to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chili flakes, paprika, ground coriander, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and give a good stir for about 1 minute.
- Add the cauliflower florets, canned tomatoes, broth and a good pinch of salt.
- Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat and cook gently for 25 minutes.
- When the soup is cooked remove the pot from heat, then remove the bay leaves.
- Blend about 1/3 of the soup with a blender or a stick blender and return it to the pot. Careful, the soup is hot. Try to blend mainly the cauliflower (or the potato chunks, if you use potatoes).
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. (I usually add a pinch of salt at the beginning + 1/2 tsp later. You might need more salt, depending on your vegetable broth and on your personal preferences. See notes)*
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper or a pinch of chili flakes, a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
- I usually make my own vegetable broth, but when I'm short on time I use hot water and vegan low salt vegetable broth cubes.
- Seasoning: If you use a broth that tastes quite salty on its own, it's important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is. I would start only with a good pinch of salt.
- Leftover: it keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s also freezable: divide among airtight containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to 2 months.
- * Cauliflower or potato? I'm not a doctor or a dietician, however, if you use 1/2 lb of potato rather than 1/2 lb of cauliflower, you'll increase the carb content.
- Protein: to make a more balanced meal, add 1 can of chickpeas or cannellini beans, they add flavor, protein and texture making this soup even more delicious. NOTE: nutritional values are per serving, calculated on a cabbage soup made with low sodium vegetable broth and 220 grams of cauliflower. They're estimates only.
Great recipe, please add in how much one serving is
Thanks for your comment, Nick! Will do an update of this recipe very soon. xx
Hello, I still don’t see anywhere on the recipe that indicates service size other than the recipe makes “4 servings”. I’ve noticed that on many online recipes and it makes it difficult when counting calories.
Hello Mary! You’re right, many recipes don’t mention the serving size and it’s hard to have control on the calories. To be honest I started measuring soups in cups only lately, that’s why many of my old recipes (including this cabbage soup) don’t indicate them. I’m going to make this soup very soon in order to measure the single portions properly. Thanks so much for your comment. x
I was looking for a recipe to use up some vegetables that were left over from making other recipes and this soup just happened to call for everything I needed to use before it went bad. I used chopped fresh Campari tomatoes instead of canned and a bunch of chopped fresh parsley because those were among the vegetables I needed to use. My husband was skeptical and jokingly called it compost stew. It turned out delicious though! Oh, also used homemade chicken broth (we’re not vegetarian and we had it in the freezer). I’m sure it would be equally fantastic with vegetable broth, or even water in a pinch because the ingredients are so flavorful. Thanks for a yummy recipe to save an assortment of good but not perfect vegetables from ending up in the compost pile.
I’m so happy to hear that, Kate! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback, and if you please can rate the recipe would be helpful for the other readers : )
Thanks again! x
I was soooooooo skeptical – but it was FABULOUS!!!! Making it again for the 2nd time, I went light on the spice, but in the end added a bit of hot sauce to finished product and it was amazing!
Thanks so much for the recipe- needed a good healthy go to meal!!!
I’m so pleased to hear that, Jeannie! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback, you make me want to make this soup soon LOL. Have a nice weekend x
This is delicious, and I am glad it turned out to be more than 4 servings! I didn’t have any coriander, so left it out. I used Mexican style canned tomatoes because we really like spicy food. We try to stay low sodium, so used low sodium broth and added no salt. The spiciness from the tomatoes, chili flakes and paprika provided plenty of flavor. I did need to add about another cup of liquid to have it be “soupy” enough for me. It took me a lot longer than 5 minutes of prep time. Perhaps if one had prepackaged cauliflower and cabbage, it would be quicker. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks so much for your lovely feedback, Nancy! 🤩
Hello! I had come across your recipe, and being a huge soup fan, I eded up making it last night, and wow, very delicious! Soup is full of flavor, good spice, hearty, and perfect for the cold weather. I did add cooked navy beans for the extra protein, and 1 large cubed red potato. I had ran out of paprika so I added chili powder instead, and a bit more extra water. I also used fire roasted tomatoes, Very delicious, thank you for sharing!
You’re so welcome! Thanks for sharing your lovely feedback, I’m so glad you liked it x
This is absolutely amazing! My whole family likes it! But question, how much is just one serving? A cup? 3/4 cup? 1 cup and 1/2?
I’m so pleased to hear that and thanks for your lovely feedback, Hannah! Regarding your questions, I’ve realised I didn’t take note of the serving sizes. Sorry about that, I’m going to add it asap. x