Cabbage Soup / λαχανόσουπα

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cabbage soup / λαχανόσουπα

cabbage soup / λαχανόσουπα

This is one of the most satisfying vegetable soups you will ever have.  Cabbage soup is a traditional winter dish in Greece, though I  enjoy it year round! The cabbage is sweet, the dill and thyme so flavorful, and the chopped zucchini, carrots and potatoes make it a complete meal in a bowl.

The trick is to first sauté all the vegetables, including the cabbage, before adding the water to your soup.  This gives you a much more intensely flavored, layered, robust finished dish. This is a one-pot-wonder and so simple to prepare you’ll be amazed how something so delicious can be so quick and easy! Serve hot with a piece of crusty bread and dinner (or lunch) is served.

Because this is a soup and will be eaten with a spoon, its important to chop your vegetables into bite sized pieces.  No need to mince, just keep the spoonful in mind as you chop.

bite size chopped vegetables

bite size chopped vegetables

The cabbage should also be cut into smaller squares or strips, again use a spoonful as your mental guide. Keep in mind that the cabbage will wilt down significantly in volume so the raw pieces don’t have to be tiny. This recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped cabbage which will be about 1/3 of a medium (2 – 2 1/2 pound) head of cabbage.

chopped cabbage

chopped cabbage

This is a great dish for winter vegetables.  By sautéing them first as opposed to just boiling them, the natural sweetness of the veggies just comes right to the front. The order of adding the vegetables and cabbage is important to making this dish perfect so don’t be tempted to skip or mix them up.

saute veggies first before boiling to bring out sweetness

saute veggies first before boiling to bring out sweetness

The olive oil is probably the most important ingredient so don’t skimp on it!  This recipe calls for 1/3 of a cup of olive oil and this is the perfect amount to coat all your other ingredients and impart a creaminess to them that you lose with boil only vegetable soups.  The olive oil is your fat in this dish and the more you allow it to coat and be absorbed by the vegetables (cabbage included), the more hearty your soup will be.

cabbage soup ready to serve

cabbage soup ready to serve

And I use water with this recipe and not vegetable broth. I’ve tried it with vegetable broth but truth be told, it was almost too much flavor competition for the broth that the soup veggies made on their own.  Feel free to try it both ways and see which you like best. If you do go with broth, try to use one that is not too oniony as there is already a nice onion base in this recipe.


  • 5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped garlic
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 7 cups water
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

Saute onions in olive oil over low heat until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook until just soft, careful not to burn.

Add salt/pepper/dill/thyme and cook on low for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and carrots, stir well to coat all vegetables with olive oil. Cook on low for 10 minutes.

Add cabbage, stir well and cook for about 2-3 minutes until it begins to wilt. Add potatoes and stir well to coat with olive oil.  Cook on low for 8 minutes.

Add water, stir to combine completely.  Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a low boil.  Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until potatoes/carrots are fork tender.

Remove from heat and stir in fresh squeezed lemon juice. Recipe makes 6 good portions. Serve hot with crusty bread.

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35 Responses to Cabbage Soup / λαχανόσουπα

  1. Eva Bakogiorgas February 6, 2014 at 4:23 am #

    Hi, nice recipe, in your Cooking Instructions, i do not see where you add the cabbage? at what point do you add the cabbage? i love cabbage, and make the Cabbage and Rice recipe, but i have never tried the soup. Thanks!

    • Kiki February 7, 2014 at 4:04 am #

      Hi Eva, Added – thanks for letting me know and so glad you like the lahanorizo, I love cabbage too! Kiki 🙂

  2. Katina Vaselopulos February 7, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Kiki, Wonderful connecting with you! Thanks for letting me know!
    The soup sounds and looks wonderful! One of these days, I will make it!

    I thought The Greek Vegan was a man! Don’t ask me why!

    Today I cooked an assortment of beans, peas and, lentils with lots of sauted diced onions, peppers, cabbage, celery and garlic. Did not have carrots. It turned out creamy and delicious

    Wishing you great cooking! Katina 🙂

  3. Kiki February 7, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    Hi Cori, Added – thanks for catching that rather important piece! Kiki 🙂

  4. Kiki February 7, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    Hi Linda, Added – and thanks for catching that, a little funny as its the main ingredient! Kiki 🙂

  5. Anne March 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    I like that you explain WHY the order of steps is important and what the benefits are from sautéing instead of boiling. I’m always in a hurry and tend to skip things unless I know why they are important. I love your site. It will be an inspiration and blessing to our table this Lent. Thank you!

    • Kiki March 6, 2014 at 3:26 am #

      Hi Anne, So glad you found us! The importance of the steps and sautéing instead of boiling allow the flavors of this soup to layer one of top of the other. Boiling alone give you a much more flat, one tone soup.
      Giving each of the ingredients the few extra minutes for their flavors to come through and intensify makes all the difference in the world to the finished soup.
      And also, boiling cabbage tends to give it a sulphury taste – sautéing it brings out the most wonderful sweetness! Hope this explanation help, Kiki 🙂

  6. Ololade November 8, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Oh my, this soup is perfection. Exactly what I needed and also great food combining for digestion (the land veggies paired with the starchy potatoe). I almost went with a chicken broth as I was skeptic of the ending flavor, but I stuck to your instructions and I am very happy I did. The flavor is perfectly balanced. Food that is tasty + healing is perfection…Thanks for sharing!

    • Kiki November 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      So happy you enjoyed! Its one of my very favorites! Kiki 🙂

  7. Laurie January 10, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    I made this tonight and even my small grandchildren loved it. I have been steadily going through your recipes one by one and they are fabulous. Thank you for putting this together.

  8. Angela March 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Sounds delicious! Can you please tell me how many servings this makes? Thank you!

    • Kiki March 2, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Angela! Serves 4 adults well 🙂

  9. Sarah July 1, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    This is another of your recipes that’s a staple in our house. I will admit that I sub other veggies for what I have on hand (celery, peas, etc.); this recipe is so versatile! Your tip about the olive oil is bang-on, it gives the soup a full-bodied heartiness.

    All of the tips in your recipes are really appreciated. Honestly, they’ve made me a better cook!

  10. Lisa October 6, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Perfect timing for sharing again. The cabbages have just recently started appearing in the Laiki and supermarket. I will be making it soon 🙂

  11. annise October 7, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Serving size and calories per serving please.

    • Kiki October 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

      Annise, the recipe serves about 6 good portions. As for calories per serving, that’s a bit out of my scope 🙂 If you do figure that out, please feel free to share! Kiki

  12. mila furman October 8, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    Yes!!! I can almost taste this soup!!! It looks so hearty yet so light at the same time! And IT”S VEGAN?!? Perfect for me!

  13. Despoina October 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    I do not usually post comments on the Internet, but this soup is so amazing I am compelled to let you know. Your skordalia is another favorite of mine. Please keep up the this wonderful web adventure of yours. Your recipes make Wednesday and Friday menus easier and healthier. Eυλογεί τα χέρια σας!

  14. Tony December 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    I look forward to trying this. Looks so good. Was wondering if you guys have a good recipe for a red “Revithosoupa.” I was in New York and had it and loved it.

    • Kiki December 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      Tony, revithosoupa is definitely high on my to-do list! the list of recipes to add is endless to be honest but chickpea soup is right near the top so keep an eye out for it, Kiki 🙂

  15. Tony December 28, 2015 at 2:45 am #

    Thanks for the response, Kiki. Will look forward to it.

  16. Amelia February 19, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

    Awesome recipe! I used a veggie chopper and it was so cool to see all the veggies the same uniform shape/size. I also added half can of tomato paste cause the Rams horn by our house has tomato paste in their cabbage..without the paste tastes bland…. It was delicious overall! Easy and plenty to share even the next day

  17. Kristen February 28, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Kiki! I’m trying out a new diet and this recipe fits in perfectly. I’m excited to make it! One question: what do you think of swapping regular potatoes for sweet potatoes? I have a ton of the latter at the moment 🙂

    • Kiki February 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      Kristen, I don’t see why you couldn’t! If you do try it let me know how it turns out? Wondering if you might need to add a bit more water to accommodate the denser sweet potato? Kiki 🙂

  18. Arlee April 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

    HI Kiki,

    Made this soup tonight and it was very good. I didn’t have thyme and I forgot to add lemon juice. I pureed some with milk for my kids and they ate it with no complaints! I did add vegetable broth but that was just a personal preference. Thank you for the great recipe.

  19. Louise May 4, 2016 at 11:47 am #


    I just made this soup and its delicious however there is a fair amount left over and I was wondering if this soup is suitable for freezing? Just to add I love all your recipes and i’m excited to make them all 🙂

    • Kiki May 17, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

      Louise, I’ve never frozen it myself to be able to tell you but would love to hear from your experience if you do! It would be amazing to make ahead, freeze and just thaw/heat when you wanted a bowl. Now I’m getting hungry…… Do let me know if you try it, Kiki 🙂

  20. Andrea May 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    I made this lovely, light soup today. Added in fresh spinach and it was just the right touch. Thank you for the recipe.

  21. Michele October 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    I made your lovely soup this evening. I also finished the end boiling time in our instant pot (pressure cooker)-only needed 5 minutes. The flavors are fantastic. I will be making this soup on a regular basis. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Laurabeth October 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    This is a wonderful recipe enjoyed by our whole family. Thank you! Do you think it would turn out well using savoy cabbage?

    • Kiki October 22, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      not sure about using savoy cabbage instead of green. though they are lovely, I remember hearing that savoy leaves are a more delicate cabbage leaf so not sure how they’d hold up in a soup? to be honest, I think they’d be fine but as I’ve never used them myself can’t give you more guidance than that 🙂

  23. Karen November 21, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    One third cup garlic? Is that correct?

    • Kiki November 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

      yes 🙂

  24. Tia B Good October 6, 2017 at 12:22 am #

    I have made this 3 times. I love it. The only change I have is an addition: I add white beans to have some protein in there.

    • Kiki October 8, 2017 at 1:02 am #

      the white beans sound like a wonderful addition 🙂

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