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I know what you are thinking. (cabbage soup?!) When I was twenty, I did a "cabbage soup" diet. I lost a few pounds of water weight, which all returned as soon as I ate a sandwich. The soup wasn't horrible- but it was boring with a capital B. I was remembering that soup today and thinking it could be improved- improved with extra veggies, better broth, and less cabbage. I was right.

Oh- is this soup good- pungently good. It's ideal for spooning up through the steam when you've just killed yourself shoveling a mountain of snow (my husband) or when you want warm comfort with no guilt. It's fantastic, with or without dunking bread, too.

"Beef broth is a major part of the soup's power-flavor. If you don't do meat- use vegetable broth, but add 2 cloves of minced garlic in with the carrots and onions."

Notes: Olive oil is extra-virgin. Beef broth is from Orrington Farms.


Ingredients: 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 small onion-chopped, 2 1/2 cups chopped cabbage, 3 chopped carrots, 1 stalk celery-chopped, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 bay leaves, 4 cups beef or vegetable broth, 1 can petite diced tomatoes, a splash of red wine, 1 zucchini-chopped, 1 can drained and rinsed Northern beans, and dried parsley.

Serves 4-6.

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent.

2. Pour in broth, wine, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and turn it down to simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are just fork-tender.

3. Add zucchini and beans. Cook for 15 minutes or so until the zucchini is tender.

4. Serve hot, with dried parsley sprinkled on top and extra black pepper.

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