This Red Cabbage Soup is the perfect mix of sweet and sour and is full of powerful antioxidants!
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “food is medicine.” Well, I like to create my recipes with that mantra in mind. Did you know that red cabbage is loaded with antioxidants? Those same antioxidants are also found in blueberries, but red cabbage has them in greater concentration. It’s known to be a strong anti-inflammatory food. In addition, red cabbage is a good source of fiber and vitamins C and K. So when you make this recipe, you’re getting a nutritional powerhouse!
Benefits of Red Cabbage
Let’s be honest. If you looked at the photo of this recipe, this isn’t the most pretty soup. You may not be convinced to make it based on its good looks, but there’s so much more you need to know! I need to share some of the health benefits of including red cabbage in your diet before I get to the recipe. (You’ll WANT to make this recipe after you read all these benefits!)
- Red cabbage will help strengthen your immune system.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the risk of a number of chronic diseases.
- Red cabbage can help fight arthritis. (Again, those anti-inflammatory powers at work!)
- Red cabbage is good for your heart. It can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Red cabbage can also help to detoxify the body, thanks to its high antioxidant content.
So there you have it! Red cabbage is not only delicious prepared so many different ways, but it’s also a food packed with health benefits.
This Red Cabbage Soup is an incredible juxtaposition of sweet and sour flavor, thanks to the addition of a little coconut sugar and vinegar. It’s addicting! It’s easy to make and can be served as a main dish or a side. And it freezes well, so feel free to make a big batch!
Ready to make a delicious soup? Let’s look at the ingredient’s you’ll need.
Recipe Ingredients–What You’ll Need
This vibrant soup has lots of vegetables and is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find.
6 slices bacon
Bacon brings a nice smoky bacon flavor to this red cabbage soup recipe. Look for uncured bacon for the healthiest option.
1 yellow onion
Onions are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and B6, and manganese. They also contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Of course, the onions also provide a nice flavor base for this soup! I use yellow onion for its sweet qualities, but red onion or most any large onion will work well, too.
1 large carrot
Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. They’re also a good source of fiber, vitamins K1 and B6, potassium, and manganese. They also add to the sweet quality of this Red Cabbage Soup.
2 red potatoes
Red potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. They also contain a flavonoid called quercetin (also found in onions), which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Don’t worry about the starch in potatoes–add them to your soup and enjoy them!
1 small head red cabbage
As I mentioned earlier, red cabbage is an nutritional powerhouse! It’s loaded with an abundance of antioxidants and vitamins and is the STAR of this soup!
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
Coconut sugar adds a sweet quality to this soup. It’s an unrefined sugar and has a lower glycemic index than refined white sugar.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Yes, cinnamon! It provides a lovely flavor to this soup and also has some health benefits. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels.
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt and pepper for flavoring.
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Ground cloves provide a warm, spicy flavor to this red cabbage soup recipe. They also contain eugenol, an oil with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
6 cups chicken stock or broth
I love using homemade bone broth in my soups because it’s so nutritionally dense. When I don’t have time I buy the boxed variety without too much sodium or things like added oil or hydrolyzed proteins.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a key ingredient in this red cabbage soup recipe. It helps to balance the sweetness of the other ingredients and adds a lovely tanginess to the soup. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to have a number of health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels, promoting weight loss, and reducing cholesterol levels.
1 Bay Leaf
Bay leaves add a nice flavor to this red cabbage soup recipe. They also contain eugenol, an oil with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Make Red Cabbage Soup
This soup is healthy comfort food at its finest. The best part is that it’s super easy to make!
- In a large Dutch oven or large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it’s starting to get crispy.
- While the bacon is cooking, finely chop the onion, chop the carrot, and cut the potatoes into cubes.
- Remove the bacon and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Add the onion, carrot, and potatoes to the pot and sauté over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, until softened.
- While those vegetables are softening, core and thinly slice the head of cabbage.
- Add the shredded cabbage, coconut sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and ground cloves to the pot. Stir and cook until the cabbage is soft and wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pot with a lid and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove bay leaf, stir in the crisp bacon and serve. Enjoy!
I follow a vegetarian/vegan diet. How do I adapt this recipe?
This recipe is easy to adapt to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Simply leave out the bacon, soften your vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil instead of the bacon grease, and use six cups of vegetable broth in place of the chicken stock. The flavor profile will change some, but this will still be a delicious soup!
Can I use a different cabbage for this soup?
I use Red Cabbage (sometimes called purple cabbage) for this soup specifically for its strong antioxidant and nutritional profile. If you don’t have this type readily available to you, green cabbage will work.
Do I have to use apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar balances the flavors perfectly, so it’s important to use! Although I use it because it’s been shown to have nice health benefits, another vinegar like red wine vinegar would be nice here, too.
How do I store the leftovers?
You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days. This soup will also freeze well. Use a freezer bag or glass storage container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Need more delicious soup recipes? Give one of these a try!
I think you’re going to love this sweet and sour cabbage soup! If you try this Red Cabbage Soup or any of my healthy recipes, please let me know what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating below. If you share it on Instagram, I’d love to feature you!Print