Favorite Cabbage Soup, Updated
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This cabbage soup, a vegetarian variation of Paul Steindler’s cabbage soup, is one of my favorite recipes to make this time of year, foremost because I always seem to be swimming in cabbage but also, of course, for its texture and flavor: slightly creamy, loaded with vegetables, infused subtly with caraway, whose citrusy notes along with the vinegar pair so well with the cabbage and other vegetables
Dill, too, which I just learned is in the same family as caraway, brightens the stewy flavors just before serving.
Here I use homemade vegetable stock, which is simple: throw some things in a pot, cover with water, simmer. Forty-five minutes later, it’s done. During those 45 minutes of simmering, you can prep the rest of the soup.
This soup does require a fair amount of chopping but the upshot — cabbage soup for days! — makes the effort worth it.
PS: Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki), Cabbage Pad Thai-ish with Baked Tofu, Roasted Vegetables with Tahini, Lemon & Za’atar, Simplest Cabbage Slaw
ALL the Cabbage Recipes → Right Here
Soup and stock time:
Vegetable stock: leeks, onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, thyme parsley, salt — use the recipe as a guide.
Soup vegetables: carrots, onions, potatoes:
Sliced cabbage covered in boiling water:
Flour added (see recipe notes for an alternative to the flour):
Straining the vegetable stock:
Adding the stock to the soup:
Adding the vegetables:
Adding the caraway:
Adding the dill and cream:
Soup + bread … is there anything better?
Vegetarian Cabbage Soup
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 quarts
Slightly adapted from a Craig Claiborne & Pierre Franey recipe. If you wish to make a version closer to the original, which included bacon and chicken stock, see this recipe: Paul Steindler’s Cabbage Soup
I was recently listening to a Milk Street podcast and heard Sara Moulten mention that she never thickens soups with flour, preferring instead to purée a portion of the soup. If you have an immersion blender, this will be easy. Otherwise, you could ladle a few cups of soup into a food processor or blender. I love this idea, especially if gluten intolerance is a concern. Will try it next time, though I have no problem using flour, and don’t find it adds an off taste or texture to the finished soup.
Re stock: When I made this most recently, I found the stock yielded 2 quarts, all of which I used here, along with 2 more cups of water. So, if you don’t have a full 10 cups of vegetables stock, using a mix of stock and water will work just fine.
I’m not sure why the recipe calls for submerging cabbage in boiling water for one minute, but I suspect this step helps rid the cabbage of some of its water content, which can be stinky, and which might therefore cloud the flavor of the broth.
Note: This is a double recipe, and it yields a lot, but it’s so nice to have on hand, especially, if you have company arriving. With a little hunk of fresh bread, it makes the most wonderful lunch, and with a salad, a perfect dinner.
- 12 cups shredded cabbage*
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 to 3 cups finely diced onions
- 1/2 cup flour, see notes above
- 10 cups homemade vegetable stock or water, see notes
- 2 cups finely diced carrots
- 2 to 3 cups finely diced potatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds, crushed or pulverized
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill (or more or less to taste)
*If you use one relatively large head, you may get about 14 cups — use it all.
- Place cabbage in a large bowl. Bring enough water to a boil — I fill a tea kettle, but you could always fill a large sauce pan — to submerge the cabbage in the bowl. Pour the water over the cabbage; let sit one minute or longer; drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions, immediately turn the heat down to medium or low, and cook, stirring, until they are soft, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir. (Note: If you do not wish to add the flour, see the notes above for an alternative method for thickening the soup.) Add the broth or water, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk. When the mixture simmers, add the cabbage, carrots, potatoes, salt, pepper, caraway seeds, vinegar and sugar.
- Simmer, stirring every so often, for about about 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer five minutes. Add the chopped dill to the pot. Taste and adjust as needed with more salt and pepper to taste. I typically add 1 to 2 teaspoons more salt, but I am a salt lover, so adjust as needed. Serve, adding more chopped dill to each bowl if desired.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Eastern European
Keywords: cabbage, soup, vegetarian, dill, caraway, vegetables
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
33 Comments on “Favorite Cabbage Soup, Updated”
You can also thicken with potato flakes
Great tip — thanks!
My story exactly. The only difference is that I have 4 cups of cabbage so I will make 1 third of your quantity. thank you so much for sharing !
So so cozy and perfect for this time of year! Love these dishes as the weather cools. Thanks for sharing 🙂 xoxo
It’s one of my favorites this time of year!
Sue did the peasant bread and I did the cabbage soup yesterday . I just sliced the cabbage and did the hot water bath twice , liked the heft and crunch of the cabbage that way , I had to cook it longer though . The caraway does bring it to another level. The bread was awesome as always , perfect meal for yesterday and a great lunch today. Since we are traveling this week and next I shared the soup with a neighbor who loved it.
So happy to hear this, Ron! Soup and bread … never gets old. You are nice to share with your neighbors. Hi to Sue for me!
Amazing..! i love soup and your cabbage soup looks so yummy and colorful as well as this more healthy for our diet. Thanks for sharing and keep shared your new delicious recipes and ideas….!
Delicious. You always point me in the most delicious directions! This soup tickled my husband’s Hungarian roots and he proclaimed it his favorite ever. I made the original version because I had a few slices of bacon I wanted to use up and a fresh pot of chicken stock. I’m sure your vegetarian update is just as good.
This recipe is delicious. Your cabbage recipes are getting me through all of my CSA cabbage. Thanks!
Have been meaning to make this forever and finally had some extra cabbage and did it. So good!! Cabbage, dill and caraway is such a great trio of flavours. I used homemade chicken stock because I had some already made and I bloomed the caraway seeds in the hot oil when I was frying the onions (towards the end). And I pureed a bit of soup and added back instead of adding the flour. I like that method a lot.
The soup was so clear and such a beautiful colour. And even better as leftovers. Will definitely make again soon!
Nice! Love the sound of all of these modifications. Love the idea of not using flour especially for those who cannot consume flour. I love the flavors of the caraway and dill (and cabbage of course!), too, here.
Do you have a recommendation for a substitute for the heavy cream in this recipe? This looks sooo good and hoping to be able to make a dairy free version!
Hi Louise, I think I might just leave it out. I worry that non-dairy milks like almond or soy or coconut would alter the flavor. Someone above commented that she puréed some of the soup to thicken it — that might be a way to add a richness, too.
This is a lovely recipe; it’s similar to a Russian-style cabbage soup called SCHEE. In that version, the heavy cream is sometimes replaced with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 bay leaves and a dollop of sour cream.
That sounds delicious!! Love it.
This was delicious! Tangy, slightly salty and creamy, vegetable rich. I did half low-sodium store-bought vegetable broth and half water. My (German-ish) husband loved it, and my sister exclaimed, “It tastes like a Reuben!” We’ve been eating it three days and there is still more left. Yum! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thank you!
Yay! So happy to hear this, Emily!! This is one of my favorites this time of year.
I’m not a huge fan of dill. What should I use instead? Or is it good enough with the soup that I should try anyway?
You can definitely leave the dill out. The freshness of the dill is nice as is the pop of green. Do you like parsley? Finely minced parsley would be nice, too.
First time thinking to eat cabbage soup, let alone make it. Found it rather dull and boring. Then of course I tried Alexandra’s recipe and omg. This soup is amazing! I love how the flavors come together while simmering and then the dill and cream elevate them. This recipe makes a heap of soup. We will be enjoying it for a while. Thank you!
So happy to hear this Hina! This is one of my favorites, too. xoxo
This soup is absolutely delicious! The white balsamic vinegar pushes it to the next level of greatness. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
Wonderful to hear this, Michelle! I love the vinegar here, too.
How many quarts is your soup pot and is that a Le Creuset? I’m looking to get an enameled pot around six or seven quarts and something durable, distributes heat evenly and works in the oven or on the stove top.
Oh, and I am making this soup now.
Hey Frank! It’s a 7.25 qt Le Creuset. Love it so much 🙂 🙂 🙂 And YAY for making the soup!!
This is SO good and easy. Really delicious and nutritious and the coconut milk takes it to a soothing, creamy next level. I followed the recipe exactly but for one tweak, and that was to add one chipotle pepper. A keeper.
Wonderful to hear this, Charlotte! Love the idea of adding some heat. Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ever make this in an instant pot?
I have not I’m afraid.
I’m surprised I’ve never commented on this. I’ve made this soup a few times and it’s always a hit!
Great to hear, Kiara! Thanks for writing.