This red cabbage soup is bursting with flavor and nutritious ingredients to create a meal that is bound to surprise your taste buds. It's just the perfect vegan soup for winter, and besides being incredibly tasty, it will also brighten your day with its beautiful color.
It's not often you see a soup that's equally tasty and pretty. This red cabbage soup is vibrant in color and bold in taste while being the perfect nutrient-rich meal for a cold day.
Red cabbage (or purple cabbage) is a vegetable that should really be more mainstream. That's because it's full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins A and K. Plus, it's incredibly tasty, and its flavor truly shines in slowly simmered soups such as this one.
If you've been on Vegan Cocotte before, you may have noticed that I'm all about quick and easy plant-based recipes.
This soup is a bit of an exception, as it takes just over an hour to make, but I promise you the result is so worth it. You won't actually believe how good it tastes!
What goes into this purple cabbage soup?
Olive oil — Sauteeing the leek in a bit of olive oil sets an excellent flavor base for the soup. If you don't cook with oil, you can use a bit of vegetable broth or just water instead.
Leek — Only use the white part of the leek for this soup. You can also substitute it with onion or shallots if you want. A bit of garlic wouldn't go amiss if you're a fan.
Carrots — I like to cut the carrot into smaller bits, but bigger chunks are fine, too. The soup will simmer for about 45 minutes, so the carrots will still be cooked, no matter the size.
Red cabbage — A medium red cabbage that weighs about 500 grams is enough for this soup. You can slice it with a sharp knife or use a mandolin.
Apple — An apple in soup? Yes, you read that right. An apple is a great addition to this soup as it will get infused with the spicy broth and add some extra sweetness to the soup.
Juniper berries — Just a tablespoon of juniper berries is enough to infuse this red cabbage soup with a wonderful flavor that reminds me of Christmas. Caraway seeds and a bay leaf are further ideas.
Allspice — Some ground allspice is all you need for a heavenly flavor, but you can skip it if you want to allow the natural flavor of the red cabbage to shine.
Red wine vinegar — You can substitute red wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or even balsamic vinegar.
How do you make red cabbage soup?
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot and saute the leek for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until it softens.
Season with a pinch of salt and then add the carrot and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the red cabbage to the pot together with ½ teaspoon salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften.
Stir in the apple, light brown sugar, juniper berries, allspice, red wine vinegar, diced tomatoes and vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and serve with your favorite crusty bread or toast.
Recipe notes and tips
- I love the texture of purple cabbage in this soup, but if you want it to be creamy, you can use an immersion blender to puree it.
- If you want the contrast between sweet and savory to be even more pronounced, you can add a handful of golden raisins to this vegan cabbage soup.
- You can transform this into a spicy red cabbage soup by adding some red chili flakes, paprika and cumin.
- This red cabbage soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Traditionally, this soup has sour cream in it. You can make it creamy and keep it vegan by using some coconut milk, coconut cream or a plant-based sour cream.
If you liked this red cabbage soup, you might also like some of my other easy vegan soup recipes:
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Easy Vegan Potato Soup
- Pearl Barley Soup with Leek and Potatoes
- Harissa Soup with White Beans