The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (2024)

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The best Cabbage Soup recipe is packed with unexpected flavors (hello, pickle juice!) and will keep you coming back for bowl after bowl. This healthy soup recipe is the ultimate cozy winter dinner idea.

The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (1)

My first long-term boyfriend was a Ukrainian I met in college. I took classes in Russian, visited his family in Ukraine, and learned some of his best secrets in the kitchen.

While the relationship eventually ended, his recipe for The Best Cabbage Soup lives on.

Yes, I know some of the ingredients like pickle juice sound odd, but trust me; this easy soup recipe is mind-blowingly good.

Table of Contents

  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Cabbage Soup Recipe

Recipe ingredients

The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (2)

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Beef broth: Or substitute chicken broth. You can opt for vegetable broth to make The Best Cabbage Soup a fully vegan recipe.
  • Green apple: A crunchy variety like Granny Smith or Crispin will hold up nicely as this soup simmers.
  • Pickle juice: The acidity this lends is what makes this soup recipe so addictive and well-balanced. A splash of fresh lemon juice can also work in a pinch.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.Add turnip, carrot, onion, and celery, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (3)
  1. Add broth, cabbage, apple, bay leaves, and 1 tsp dill. Bring to a boil.Cover and reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (4)
  1. Remove bay leaves and stir in pickle or lemon juice.Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.) Garnish with sour cream and more fresh dill if desired.
The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (5)

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes four main dish-sized servings of vegetable soup. Pair it with a side salad and crusty bread to make The Best Cabbage Soup a full, hearty meal.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: This soup can be made up to 3 days in advance. Or, get a jump-start on prep by peeling and chopping all the vegetables and store covered in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: Transfer to freezer-safe containers (I love glass mason jars), leaving 1/2-inch headspace, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Whole30 Compatible: Cabbage Soup is already Whole30 Compatible, so just omit the sour cream for serving and you’re good to go.
  • More veggies: Customize your vegetable blend based on what you love and what’s in your crisper drawer. Cubed potatoes, kidney beans, cannellini beans, and diced tomatoes would all be delicious in this soup.
  • Herbs and spices: If you don’t love the dill flavor, omit the fresh dill and pickle juice and choose herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, and fresh parsley. For a little heat, add a tbsp of red pepper flakes.
  • Make it meaty: Since this recipe is originally from the Ukraine, it would be completely appropriate to make cabbage soup with kielbasa or Polish sausage. Simply brown the sausages in advance, then add the links to the soup to simmer with the vegetables. Remove the whole sausages just before serving to slice and add back into the soup. Other tasty protein options: browned ground beef (for a cabbage roll-inspired rendition), ground turkey, cooked bacon, ham hock or ham bone, or shredded leftover or rotisserie chicken.
  • Crockpot: Transfer the finished soup to a slow cooker for buffet and party service. Serve sour cream, plenty of dark, hearty bread, and fresh dill on the side.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cut cabbage?

1. Remove any damaged or browned outer leaves and rinse under cold water.
2. Place the head of cabbage on a cutting board or clean work surface with the stem side down.
3. Locate the stem of the cabbage. With a chef’s knife, cut in half lengthwise, all the way through the core.
4. If making shredded cabbage, remove the triangular core by cutting into the core at an angle where the stem meets the leaves of the cabbage, and remove it from each half.
5. Place the halves, cut side down, on the cutting board. Starting at the end opposite the stem, cut crosswise from top to bottom into thin slices.

What is cabbage soup good for?

Cabbage soup is an easy, delicious way to eat more vegetables. A bowl of hot hearty cabbage soup is perfectly contrasted by garnishes of cold sour cream and sour pickle juice. It’s perfection.

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The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (11)

Cabbage Soup

By Meggan Hill

The best Cabbage Soup recipe is packed with unexpected flavors (hello, pickle juice!) and will keep you coming back for bowl after bowl. This healthy soup recipe is the ultimate cozy winter dinner idea.

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 45 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr

Servings 4 servings

Course Main Course, Soup

Cuisine Russian

Calories 195

5 from 53 votes

ReviewPrint

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.Add turnip, carrot, onion, and celery, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

  • Add broth, cabbage, apple, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon dill. Bring to a boil.Cover and reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Remove bay leaves and stir in pickle or lemon juice.Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.) Garnish with sour cream and more fresh dill if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Beef broth: Or opt for vegetable broth to make The Best Cabbage Soup a fully vegan recipe.
  2. Green apple: A crunchy variety like Granny Smith or Crispin will hold up nicely as this soup simmers.
  3. Pickle juice: The acidity this lends is what makes this soup recipe so addictive and well-balanced. A splash of fresh lemon juice can also work in a pinch.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes four main dish-sized servings of vegetable soup. Pair it with a side salad and crusty bread to make The Best Cabbage Soup a full, hearty meal.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 1004mgPotassium: 558mgFiber: 6gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 5246IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill

Meggan Hill

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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

The Best Cabbage Soup Recipe (2024)

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