Go Back

Best Cabbage Soup

Savoy cabbage or green cabbage both work in the soup. Red cabbage… not so much, it has a sharper bite and the color will get funky, and napa cabbage is a bit too tender to stand up to the cooking time without getting flabby.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cabbage Soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Molly Watson


  • 1 Savoy cabbage or 1 small green cabbage or 1/2 not-small green cabbage
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes:
  • 2 Sprigs parsley leaves chopped
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Aleppo pepper or red chili flakes
  • 1 Sprig fresh thyme leaves chopped


  • Remove and discard any damaged exterior leaves from the cabbage. Cut the head in half, cut out and discard the core, and cut the cabbage into shreds. Set aside.
  • Trim the onion, halve it lengthwise, and peel. Place cut-side down on a cutting board and cut into thin half-moon slices.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are wilted and softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts and reduces in volume by about half, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While the cabbage cooks, peel and chop the carrot; peel and chop the potatoes.
  • Add the carrot, potatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until the vegetables are completely tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot, with garnishes of your choice (or not!).



Make it meaty—if you’re looking for how to make sausage and cabbage soup, it’s easy; cut 1 or 2 sausages (Kielbasa is a good choice) into1/2-inch slices and cook along with the onion.
Make it meaty 2—add 1 to 2 cups of shredded or chopped cooked chicken, pork or beef along with the carrots and potatoes so the flavors blend.
Tomato time—add 1 can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes along with the broth.
Beety borscht—borscht is just Russian for soup, but we tend to think of it as necessarily involving beets. Add 2 or 3 roasted, peeled, and chopped or grated beets along with the carrots and potatoes for a brilliantly fuschia and beautiful bowl.
Beyond potato—any root vegetable can take the place of the some or all of the potatoes; try turnips, rutabagas, or sweet potatoes.
Make it green—add several handfuls of chopped cooking greens such as kale or chard along about halfway through the potato cooking time.