When you think of great vegetables to add to your next big pot of soup, I bet carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans and celery are at the top of the list. Spinach and kale might even be included because of their amazing health benefits, but how often do you look at a head of cabbage and think how tasty it would be in a bowl of warm, comforting soup?
Related: 100 Best Fall Soups
If the answer is not very often, you’re not alone. Many of us seem to overlook cabbage when it comes to making a great batch of healthy soup, but it’s one of my favorite ingredients to add to not only a basic vegetable soup, but also to make the star of a soup all on its own.
Ever heard of the cabbage soup diet? Cabbage soup can be a complete meal if you want it to be, although we wouldn’t advise sticking with this fad diet for long. And unlike the simple cabbage soup associated with the diet (that consists of mainly cabbage, broth and spices), there are so many more interesting soups you can make with this cruciferous vegetable!
Related: 35 Slow Cooker Soups
What Are the Different Kinds of Cabbage?
When it comes to cabbage, you might not even realize how many varieties there are. In reality, there are over 400 different kinds of cabbage grown throughout the world. Don’t worry though, you won’t have that many to choose from when heading to the grocery store. For the most part, the ones that make their way to American produce aisles are:
red, or purple
If you are wondering where bok choy falls on the list, it actually isn’t a cabbage at all, but rather a Chinese chard! (You learn something new every day!)
What Kind Of Cabbage To Use In Soup
The traditional green cabbage we are all so familiar with is the perfect addition to soups because it can cook down but still retain its shape and flavor. Most recipes you find for cabbage soup will probably include this mainstream variety.
Red cabbage can be used interchangeably with green in most recipes, but can have a tougher texture. Another thing to keep in mind if you want to add some pretty purple cabbage to a pot of soup is the color can bleed, so your vegetable soup might come out a color you aren’t expecting.
Also, the compound that gives purple cabbage that vibrant color can turn blue when mixed with any alkaline substance-which most tap water contains. Simply add some acid to the recipe-like lemon juice-to prevent this colorful issue.
Best Cabbage Soup Recipes
These 30 best cabbage soup recipes will have you wishing you hadn’t overlooked cabbage for so long. There’s everything from Egg Roll Soup and Stuffed Cabbage Soup to heartier, meat-based soups like Ground Beef Cabbage Soup and Italian White Bean, Cabbage and Sausage Soup. There are also keto cabbage soup recipes and plenty of slow cooker cabbage soups to enjoy (without a lot of fuss to make).
Grab some Napa, red or green cabbage at the store and settle in for delicious soup suppers in your future!
Related: 35 Slow Cooker Stew Recipes