Soup of the Week – Healing Cabbage Soup for a Cold

Categories Cooking, Eating

Know what you do when you suddenly come into an abundance of cabbage heads?

You make soup!

At least that’s what I do…


For the last couple of years, we have split a CSA share with my Husband’s parents. As our season ended this fall, they were out of town so we inherited both halves of the share, including several beautiful heads of cabbage. I offered some to people I knew who might want it, but no takers. So I started thinking about what to do…

The truth about cabbage is that it actually stores pretty well in your crisper or hydrator drawer. You can put it in a plastic bag for extra moisture if you like, but it’s not necessary. And if you have a partial head hanging around, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the drawer, too. But why just store it when you can do something delicious?

My first thought was homemade halupki, or stuffed cabbage, like my Great Grandaunt B. used to make. But one head of cabbage makes a huge batch of halupki, which will freeze beautifully. But after that? Well, I still had a couple of heads of cabbage to deal with.


The Hub loves my homemade coleslaw, so he immediately voted for that to use on what we call “Daddy Sandwiches,” which are a homemade version of a Rachel. Still. One head of cabbage equals several days of slaw, which does not freeze beautifully – or at all. We definitely did have those sandwiches and also used the slaw as a side for fish, too. Delicious.


When cabbage comes home, Zilla votes for halushki, or cabbage and noodles. Halushki is cheap, fast, easy, and is made with items you probably already have on hand: onion, egg noodles, salt and pepper, butter. We always have those plus one or two other “secret” ingredients I use in mine. Again, you can only eat so much of that before you start to look like a noodle.


Naturally, my mind went to soup. Most of what you find when you search for cabbage soup recipes is recipes making claims about amazing weight loss. That’s a definite benefit, but not my primary interest here. In my search I came across this Healing Cabbage Soup at AllRecipes. It grabbed my attention mostly because I had a cold at the time and “healing” sounded good to me. I made it according to the recipe, loved it, and found that it did indeed help my cold.

Since then, I’ve made several batches of this soup, but I’ve adapted it to make it my own. It’s light, yet comforting. It’s warm and healthy. It’s cheap and easy to make. This has quickly made it to my roster of things to do for a cold, right alongside my Sick Tea and a good long nap.

20160112_223117[1]Check out the original via the link above (they even have a video!) or try my adapted version below.

My Version of Healing Cabbage Soup (Cabbage Sick Soup)

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • several cloves of garlic, according to your taste (I use at least 3-4 good sized cloves)
  • 2 quarts chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 14.5 oz. can of tomato puree (This will give you a clear yet tomato-y broth for your soup. If you prefer a standard broth with pieces of tomato, just use stewed or diced tomatoes instead, as in the original recipe above.)
  • shredded or diced carrots
  • Italian seasoning blend (Or use your individual spices to taste – parsley, oregano, basil, etc.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *I have also tossed in diced green bell pepper and diced sweet Italian pepper just because I had some to use, they have lots of vitamin C, and why not? The beauty of this soup is that it’s so versatile – adapt it however you like.
  • *If you like a bit of sweet-and-sour flavor in your cabbage soup, add some apple cider vinegar to taste. I often add just a bit to the individual bowls rather than the whole batch.

Here’s What to Do:

  1. In your large stockpot, heat olive oil and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Most people will tell you not to overcook your aromatics here, but I’ll admit to letting mine get a little brown and caramelized – it gives the soup amazing flavor.
  2. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in chopped cabbage and tomato product of your choice. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Serve with crusty bread and butter for dipping.

Make a huge batch and keep it around all week – it’s even better the next day!



What are your favorite home remedies from the kitchen? Do you have family recipes that have been passed down? Is it “feed a cold, starve a fever” or “feed a fever, starve a cold”?


Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

13 thoughts on “Soup of the Week – Healing Cabbage Soup for a Cold

  1. I never saw the word halupki in print. My grandmother used to make “galumpkees”, which was stuffed cabbage. Interesting. I love all sorts of soup and I often add cabbage to my vegetable soup. It’s what I use to kick start a healthy eating plan. Feel better.

  2. Sounds delicious 🙂 I love cabbage. I chopped some to microwave for dinner earlier and then TOTALLY BLOODY FORGOT IT! At least it wasn’t cooked yet, and now it’s just ready for tomorrow, I guess!

    I like adding chilli to things, but garlic is always good for the health.

  3. Your soups always looks so good! And I have coleslaw mix (lazy person’s cabbage) in my fridge right now. I’ll have to see what the weekend brings. Hope you have fully recovered from your cold.

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