“All You Can Eat” Cabbage Soup

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’ll lose weight without trying. While I would never advocate eating just one thing over and over, I have to say that I AM a big fan of this cabbage soup. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely deeeee-licious. Yeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had this famed diet soup I expected it to be boring at best, but I was pleasantly surprised by an extremely flavorful and comforting soup that had me coming back for seconds, and even thirds.

This cabbage soup recipe has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re chock full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

Why am I calling it All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup? It’s kind of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. It’s just a bunch of vegetables and I don’t think any of us are guilty of getting too many vegetables in our diet, right? Didn’t think so. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So eat up!

(Just because I’m a rebel, I served my healthy “diet” soup with plenty of buttery homemade garlic bread. What can I say, I live fast and hard.)

All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it! BudgetBytes.com

Simmered Cabbage Soup
4.94 from 32 votes
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"All You Can Eat" Cabbage Soup

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it!

Total Cost $7.89 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 2 cups each

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 large onion $0.34
  • 1/2 lb carrots $0.33
  • 1/2 bunch celery $0.55
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.75
  • 1/2 lb frozen green beans $0.78
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes $1.69
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce $0.55
  • 1/2 head green cabbage $1.13
  • 6 cups vegetable broth* $0.78
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped $0.22
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.07
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • Salt and pepper to taste $0.05
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.08

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Add both to a large soup pot along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and frozen green beans to the pot, followed by the diced tomatoes (and their juices) and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
  3. Allow the vegetables in the pot to heat while you chop the cabbage. Chop the cabbage into one-inch strips or squares, then add them to the pot. Add the vegetable broth, chopped parsley, paprika, oregano, thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the pot to simmer until the cabbage is tender (about 20 minutes). Turn off the heat and add salt to taste. Start with about 1/2 tsp salt and add more as needed. The total amount will vary depending on your tastes and the type of broth used, but the salt is crucial for the vegetable flavors to pop. Finish the soup with lemon juice. Start by stirring in one tablespoon and adding more to your liking.

Recipe Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth.

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it! BudgetBytes.com

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it! BudgetBytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Onion and Garlic

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.

Soup Starter

A lot of the soups I make use 1/2 bunch of celery and 1/2 lb. of carrots, so I usually slice up the other half of each, put them in a freezer bag, and toss them into the freezer for my next soup. I used one of those bags for my cabbage soup today.

Carrots Celery Green Beans Bell Pepper

Add 1/2 lb. sliced carrots, 1/2 bunch celery (sliced), one diced bell pepper, and 1/2 lb. frozen green beans to the pot.

Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce

Also add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices) and one 8oz. can tomato sauce. Stir everything together and allow it to begin heating through.

Chopped Cabbage

Chop 1/2 head cabbage into one-inch strips or squares, then add them to the pot.

Broth Herbs and Spices

Followed by 6 cups vegetable broth, 1/4 bunch fresh parsley (chopped), 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, bring it up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer until the cabbage is tender (about 20 minutes).

Simmered Cabbage Soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt to taste, and add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. The amount of salt you’ll need depends on the type of broth you used, but I’d start with 1/2 tsp and add more from there if needed. Start with one tablespoon of lemon juice and add more if you want a brighter, more tart flavor.

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it! BudgetBytes.com

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness!

You'll want to eat your weight in this Cabbage Soup because it tastes so good, but you won't have to feel guilty about it! BudgetBytes.com

And consider serving it with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth.