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Cabbage Soup

My husband was never too fond of cabbage—until the first time he tried this cabbage soup recipe from my aunt. Now he even asks me to make this soup! —Nancy Stevens, Morrison, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    20 servings (5 quarts)


  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup


  • In a stockpot, cook the cabbage, celery and onion in water until tender. Add bouillon, salt, pepper, beef and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and ketchup; simmer another 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 80 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 567mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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  • Cindys4jc
    Jan 20, 2021

    This soup is wonderful! I make it frequently, as written. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Janne
    Sep 20, 2020

    I love cabbage soup but hadn't made it in a long time. This recipe has waaay too much pepper and also too much celery for my tastes. I should have known better. I should have winged it. I added more sugar, a can of plum tomatoes and liberal squirts of lemon juice to counter the pepper and celery, both of which overpowered the cabbage. The ketchup was a nice touch. I think I'll doctor it some more since I made a huge pot of it. Did you know you can keep a pot of soup going a very long time in the fridge if you bring it to a full boil for a few minutes every day or every other day? Soup handles this treatment well. You'll know it's time to give up on it when it smells or tastes funny. I learned that tip from a chef who kept the same pot of spaghetti sauce going for months and just kept adding to it. I don't do it very long with spaghetti sauce because it gets too strong tasting. I'd rather freeze it. Or just eat it!

  • Christine
    Jul 22, 2020

    Hmmm. The "directions" mention brown sugar, tomato sauce, and ketchup. Yet the list of ingredients makes no mention of those items. Are they added "to taste"? Are they added in specific amounts?

  • Thomas
    Feb 6, 2020

    My family loves this soup and enjoy it throughout the autumn and winter months in Michigan... I'm preparing to make a pot of soup today and will try the addition of northern beans, as mentioned in previous reviews, as it sounded interesting without changing the flavor profile too much.

  • skcamp46
    Jul 9, 2019

    This was very good, but i put hot italian sausage in mine and used beef broth instead of water. I never put water in my soups. I can see many ways to tweak this recipe!

  • Gayle
    Oct 8, 2018

    Made this soup today. I followed the recipe as written. It was very good, but I felt it needed a little something extra. I added 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. I also added 1 can of northern white beans. It was just enough give it a little more flavor. Came out fantastic. Thanks so much for the recipe. Its definitely a keeper.

  • CeilZK
    Jul 13, 2018

    WE call this “Stuffed Cabbage Casserole” When my mom couldn’t eat the thing anymore she just loved this! Put it with mashed potatoes it is almost like the real thing!

  • Joann117
    Sep 12, 2017

    I made this for the first time to use up garden vegetables. My husband and I loved it. I can see tweaking it with various ingredients as others have indicated. It would be a good recipe to freeze for winter soup eating.

  • Leah
    Jun 20, 2017

    Hi, I absolutely love this recipe but I tweaked it a lot to add extra ingredients to make it more of a meal since I feed a hungry "growing man". Lol. I added diced, peeled potatoes and carrots, also a cup of macaroni noodles too and minced garlic as well, about 1 tablespoon. I did not add salt because I used more beef bullion packets(each packet is good for flavoring 2 cups of H2O) I was easy on the pepper and I chose not to add the brown sugar because the tomato sauce/ketchup was enough sweetness. Absolutely delicious!!!

  • John
    Jan 7, 2017

    This is an excellent recipe. I've made it exactly as published and also messed with it sometimes. I've found that the recipe works well with pork/ham, or without meat as well. I also sometimes add some Korean chile garlic sauce for some spiciness and because I love garlic.