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Vegan cabbage soup is a hearty yet healthy, nourishing, comforting, low-budget meal of simple, wholesome ingredients using a stove, Instant Pot, or crockpot + it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, low carb (ish), vegetarian, and vegan!

completed Vegan Cabbage Soup [Stove, IP, Crockpot] in a bowl
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Super Nourishing, Detoxifying Tomato Cabbage Soup

Chase away any bad memories of stinky, over-boiled cabbage (it’s not just us, right?) with this super satisfying, comforting, vegan cabbage soup. Combining shredded cabbage and several fresh vegetables in a rich tomato-based broth, this is a soul-warming soup that’s low-budget yet loaded with full-bodied flavor and plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and detoxifying benefits.

Honestly, this vegetable cabbage soup (and this cabbage bean soup) recipe might be healthy enough for detoxing ‘cabbage soup diet,’ but that’s definitely not the reason it keeps reappearing in our kitchens. Made in just one pot in under 45 minutes, this soup is light yet hearty, perfect for busy/lazy weeknights, and meal-prep/freezer-friendly to enjoy year-round.

Looking for more cozy vegan soup recipes? Try vegan chicken noodle soup, creamy peanut butter soup, hearty veg barley soup, or spicy lentil soup.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Vegan Cabbage Soup [Stove, IP, Crockpot] measured on a white surface
  • Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil. For an oil-free version, use about ¼ cup of vegetable stock instead.
  • Cabbage: You need only regular green or white cabbage, but feel free to use other varieties, like Napa or red cabbage.
  • Mirepoix: Make a full-bodied healthy cabbage soup with celery, yellow onion, and carrots.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are best, but powdered garlic works in a pinch.
  • Tomatoes: Use high-quality, canned diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted for even more flavor). Use low-sodium tomatoes, if preferred.
  • Vegetable broth: We used a combination of vegetable bouillon cubes and water.
  • Seasonings: This easy recipe for cabbage soup requires only…
    • Paprika (sweet or smoked)
    • Dried thyme (or Italian seasoning)
    • Sea salt (or soy sauce for umami-rich saltiness).
  • Vinegar: Add a splash of white wine vinegar for extra brightness.
  • Lemon juice: To brighten and add depth.
  • Garnishes: (optional) parsley for freshness and /or red pepper flakes (or hot sauce).

Easy Cabbage Soup Recipe Variations

  • Cabbage and potato soup: Add 2-3 red/Yukon Golds or sweet potato finely diced.
  • Carrot: For a more traditional cabbage carrot soup, add 1-2 additional sliced carrots.
  • Beans: We love bean and cabbage soup as a hearty, protein-rich option all winter long – particularly white bean cabbage soup or chickpeas (canned for ease).
  • Lentils: 1-1 ½ cups of cooked brown/green lentils makes a hearty cabbage lentil soup.

You could cook dried lentils in the soup, too, but will need an additional 2-3 cups of broth, and the soup simmer time will increase to 45-60 minutes.

  • Vegetable soup with cabbage: Add 2-3 cups of fresh or frozen veg like zucchini, corn, peas, green beans, spinach/kale, leek, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, etc.
  • Creamy cabbage soup: Stir in dairy-free cream/canned coconut milk at the end.
  • Rice: For a super comforting soup, stir in 1-2 cups of cooked rice (white or brown).
  • Protein: Make a heartier vegan cabbage soup with cubed firm tofu, crumbled vegan sausage, vegan meatballs, a chick’n alternative, etc.
  • Other seasonings: Adjust the flavor profile with dry oregano, cumin, coriander, etc. 1-2 bay leaves (remove before serving) can also increase savory depth.
  • Umami: Add a small amount of white miso paste or nutritional yeast.
  • Vegan butter: Just a little added right before serving adds rich, delicious flavor.

How to Make Cabbage Soup

  • First, peel and finely dice the onion, slice the carrot and celery, and mince the garlic. Also, wash and then shred the cabbage.

To shred cabbage, first trim the stem, cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the core from each quarter with a sharp knife. Then, slice across the cabbage to create shreds of your desired thickness (we did about ¼-inch).

  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and paprika, and sauté for a further minute.
  • Stir in the wine vinegar (if using), mix, and add the diced tomatoes, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable broth/bouillon mix, cabbage, and thyme, stir well, then cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Immediately drop the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
  • Finally, taste and adjust the seasonings if desired, then squeeze in the lemon juice, stir, and optionally sprinkle over the parsley and red pepper flakes- enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup

  1. Complete steps 1 to 3 as written above, then in step 4, transfer everything (except the parsley, chili flakes, and lemon) to a crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook over LOW for 7-8 hours (check on it occasionally, and add more broth/water if necessary) or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  3. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings, add the lemon, and serve topped with parsley and red pepper flakes—enjoy!

Instant Pot Cabbage Soup

  1. Prepare the veg, then use the Instant Pot sauté function for steps 2-3.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except lemon, parsley, and chili flakes) and stir.
  3. Close the lid and set it to MANUAL high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. Leave it to naturally release for 10 minutes before carefully manually releasing the remaining steam and opening the lid.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings, add the lemon, and serve optionally topped with parsley and red pepper flakes—enjoy!

FAQs

Can I use fresh tomatoes?

Yes, but we only recommend doing so during tomato season to make the most of them at their best.

Is cabbage soup healthy?

We can’t speak for every recipe, but this vegan/ vegetarian cabbage soup recipe is a great low-calorie yet nutrient-dense addition to your diet.

Cabbage is a good source of several micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamins C and K. It also contains plenty of gut-friendly fiber and detoxifying, cancer-fighting, blood sugar-controlling, and immune-boosting benefits.

That combines with more good-for-you ingredients, like carrots, onion, celery, and tomatoes, minimal heart-healthy fat, and (optionally low-sodium) broth/bouillon. The result is a super nourishing vegan cabbage soup.

Can I use frozen vegetables?

Yes, but they’ll only need to be added towards the end, as they won’t take long to thaw and become tender.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Presauté the veg: This not only helps soften them, but if you allow them to become lightly caramelized, you’ll achieve a deeper, more complex flavor.
  • To adjust the consistency: Add more broth for a thinner soup. If it’s too thin, leave it to simmer and reduce further or turn to a thickener like cornstarch.
  • Let it rest: Even just 10 minutes off-heat can help, but homemade cabbage soup tastes even better on day two when the flavors have a chance to meld.
completed Vegan Cabbage Soup [Stove, IP, Crockpot] in a bowl

Serving Suggestions

This cabbage soup with tomatoes is hearty yet light enough to pair with all the classic soup sides, including:

Storage Instructions

Leave the cabbage vegetable soup to cool, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. It’ll taste even better on day two!

Vegan cabbage soup also freezes well for up to 3 months, either in a Ziplock/Stasher bag (spread flat), container, or silicone muffin tray. Leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying it.

Reheat the soup in a microwave (1-2 minutes) or on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. If needed, add a little more broth/water.

completed Vegan Cabbage Soup [Stove, IP, Crockpot] in a storage container

More Vegan Cabbage Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Cabbage Soup [Stove, IP, Crockpot]

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Vegan cabbage soup is a hearty yet healthy, nourishing, comforting, low-budget meal of simple, wholesome ingredients using a stove, Instant Pot, or crockpot + it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, low carb (ish), vegetarian, and vegan!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 (25-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, in their juices
  • 5 to 6 cups of water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 pound of green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh parsley, garnish (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a large pot over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the carrots, onion, and celery. Mix regularly and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, salt, and paprika. Cook for 1 minute, mixing regularly.
  • Add the wine vinegar if using, mix well, and add the diced tomatoes. Mix and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the water, bullion cubes, cabbage, and thyme. Mix well, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the 20 minutes have passed, taste, and adjust the salt levels to taste.
  • Add the juice of one lemon, mix, serve, and garnish with parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.

Notes

  • Presauté the veg: This not only helps soften them, but if you allow them to become lightly caramelized, you’ll achieve a deeper, more complex flavor.
  • To adjust the consistency: Add more broth for a thinner soup. If it’s too thin, leave it to simmer and reduce further or turn to a thickener like cornstarch.
  • Let it rest: Even just 10 minutes off-heat can help, but homemade cabbage soup tastes even better on day two when the flavors have a chance to meld.

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 739mgPotassium: 893mgFiber: 9gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 12715IUVitamin C: 82mgCalcium: 170mgIron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner
Method: Stove
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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