This vegan cabbage soup is the perfect cozy dinner on a cold winter day. Made with hearty vegetables and beans, it'll warm you up from the inside out. This recipe uses pantry-friendly ingredients and is a one pot recipe too, so it's my favorite hearty meal to combat the winter blues!
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" below!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
This vegan cabbage soup is the perfect healthy, light and refreshing meal!
- It’s an easy one-pot recipe. It's simple to follow and only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. One pot too! Seriously, it's such an easy recipe that you can't not try it!
- It's budget-friendly and great for make-ahead. Not only are the ingredients inexpensive, the recipe also makes a large batch that will last you for days. Perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have time to cook.
- It's hearty and filling, but light. Even though this soup is light, it's filling and satisfying. The addition of beans and vegetables gives it some staying power, making it the perfect lunch or light dinner option (under 200 calories!)
📋 Ingredients and Notes
To make this vegan cabbage soup recipe, you'll need: avocado oil (or olive oil), onion, carrots, celery stalks, garlic cloves, tomato paste, pepper flakes, ground thyme, oregano, bay leaf, vegetable broth, tomatoes, cabbage, cannellini beans, salt, black pepper, and cilantro for garnishing.
Notes and Variations
It's really easy to customize this vegan cabbage soup recipe to how you like it!
- Choice of beans: You are free to use any other type of bean you like in place of the cannellini beans. This dish calls for a variety of beans, including Northern beans, chickpeas, and even kidney beans.
- Green cabbage vs. red cabbage: Using the former in this recipe helps retain the vivid colors of the soup, but you can use either red cabbage or green cabbage in this recipe!
- Oil substitute. If you are following a diet that does not include the use of oil, you have the option of using vegetable broth or water to sauté the vegetables.
- Add greens: I really like to add some spinach or kale at the very end of this dish in order to give it a little bit more flavor and texture!
- Add proteins. Adding protein and fiber to this soup will make it more satisfying to eat. You may bulk it up by including things like tempeh, quinoa, black beans, lentils, tofu, or pinto beans.
- Add in starches: If you want something that is a little bit more filling, you may make this recipe with potatoes, sweet potatoes or even pasta!
- Experiment with seasonings: I have used a simple blend of spices here, but you can amplify the flavors by using other spices (e.g., Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, dried basil, etc.) or play with spice levels (e.g., by adding cayenne or red chili powder in addition to red pepper flakes!)
📖 Make this easy vegan cabbage soup!
Chop up onion, carrots and celery stalk into even pieces.
Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds on medium heat while stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Add tomato paste, red pepper flakes, thyme, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes, careful not to burn. If you don't have tomato paste handy, check out these tomato paste substitutes..
Add chopped cabbage and diced tomatoes and cook for a minute. Then, add vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and cook for 15 minutes.
When you add the vegetable stock, make sure to scrape the bottom for any "brown bits" - this will impart extra flavor to the soup!
Finally, add the cannellini beans, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Stir occasionally, and start checking in after 5 minutes, to avoid overcooking!
Turn off the heat, adjust the seasoning as needed, and garnish with chopped cilantro (or fresh parsley!).
Serve hot with some crusty bread! Absolutely delicious!
👩🏽🍳 Tips To Make Perfect Vegan Cabbage Soup!
Following these five tips will help you make the most nourishing and delicious cabbage soup each time!
- Use fresh ingredients. This is key for any dish but especially important for soup. Be sure to use fresh cabbage, carrots, onions, and celery for the best flavor.
- Dice ingredients in the same sizes. When you cut the ingredients into even pieces, it not only allows them to cook evenly but also prevents each bite from containing too much or too little of a certain component. This simplifies both the cooking process and the tenderizing of the ingredients.
- Take your time simmering. Cabbage and potatoes need to cook slowly, over low heat, to become more tender. This also allows time for all the flavors to blend together and be fully absorbed.
- Season to taste. Don't be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices until you find the perfect flavor combination for your taste buds! I like to use a bit of thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper in my cabbage soup but you can also use poultry seasoning, bouillon or a number of other flavor combinations.
- Make a large batch. This recipe is ideal to make in large quantities and store in the freezer for those rushed evenings when all you want is a hot meal. It reheats perfectly, making it a satisfying go-to dinner option for wintertime.
Yes, cabbage is healthy for you! One of the biggest benefits of cabbage is its insoluble fiber content. This type of fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and running smoothly. Cabbage is also a good source of vitamins C and K. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for immunity, while vitamin K is essential for bone health. In addition, cabbage contains antioxidants that can help to protect against cell damage.
Vegan cabbage soup can last 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer if stored properly. Once you're ready to eat it, just heat it up on the stove or in the microwave. No need to thaw it first. Whether you're eating it now or later, enjoy your delicious and healthy soup!
Yes! Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Follow the steps to make this cabbage soup in the same order until you add all the ingredients in (making sure to not go over the max line. Close the lid, set it to the sealed position, and set to manual high pressure for about 5 minutes. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to first reach high pressure, then it will cook for 5 minutes. Then, do a 10 minute natural pressure release. Serve hot!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
After your vegan cabbage soup is cooked, allow it to cool completely to room temperature. You can either leave it in the pot or transfer it into a large container with a lid. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days, or freeze it for up three months in freezer-safe containers.
If you want to make this soup more filling, serve it with rice, a sandwich, salad, or even a slice of artisan bread. You can also check out more soup recipes:
Vegan Cabbage Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes, fire roasted tastes great!
- 1 head of cabbage, ~1½ lbs
- 1 can cannellini beans, see notes for substitutions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish, optional
- Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add chopped onion, carrots and celery and cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds while stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add tomato paste, red pepper flakes, thyme, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes, careful not to burn.
- Add chopped cabbage and tomatoes and cook for a minute. Then, add vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Finally, add the cannellini beans, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Start checking after 5 minutes, to avoid overcooking!
- Turn off heat, adjust seasoning as needed, remove the bay leaf and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with some crusty bread!
- Choice of beans: You can replace the cannellini beans with any beans of your choice. I've used Northern beans, chickpeas, and even kidney beans in this recipe!
- Add greens: I love stirring in some spinach or kale at the end to add some more texture and flavor to this recipe.
- Add in starches: You can add potatoes or sweet potatoes to this recipe if you want something a bit more filling. You can also add cooked pasta to the recipe to add a carb component.
- When you add the vegetable stock, make sure to scrape the bottom for any "brown bits" - this will impart extra flavor to the soup!