Caramelized Cabbage Soup 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 13, 2018

Think of this as a lighter take on onion soup, done with cabbage that gets sweet from long cooking. Instead of the gooey cheese and bread on top, this soup is accompanied with thin Parmesan toasts.

To read the accompanying story, see: This simple soup unlocks cabbage’s sweet side.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes 11 cups

  • For the soup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 10 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (from 1 medium-large head)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 8 cups homemade vegetable broth (see related recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the toasts
  • Half long, stale baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 32 slices)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese or Gruyère

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For the soup: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once the foam subsides, add the cabbage, onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until the cabbage wilts, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and has reduced (wilted) by at least half.

Uncover; stir in the 2 tablespoons of thyme, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid evaporates and the cabbage starts to lightly brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot and incorporate them into the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes so the flavors meld. Stir in the tamari, salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

While the soup is cooking, make the toasts: Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler.

Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them generously with the cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes, and the bread has crisped and browned on the edges.

Serve the soup hot, in big bowls, with a few toasts floating in each one. Scatter some fresh thyme leaves in each portion.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Eating From the Ground Up," by Alana Chernila (Clarkson Potter, 2018).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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