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Hearty Kale, Cabbage & Potato Soup Recipe

Updated on October 8, 2014
ecogranny profile image

A long-time whole grain baker, Kathryn discovered the thrill and ease of cooking with whole, fresh foods decades ago. Still chopping!

This pot goes straight from the stove top to the table
This pot goes straight from the stove top to the table | Source

Warm up with this hearty, vegetarian cabbage and kale soup as healthy as it is green and good

A favorite winter meal at our house is this savory vegetarian soup made with curly kale, winter potatoes and cabbage. We serve it piping hot in the pot with hunks of artisan San Francisco sourdough on the side. It's a meal in itself.

Serve as is for a wholesome vegan meal. Spice it up with slices of caramelized Tofurky Italian Sausages cut on the diagonal. Dress it up with a garnish of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, and finish it off with a plate of sliced apples and pears.

If you have a meat lover or two in your family, it's easy to add slices of meat sausages to individual bowls. I'll show you just how easy later on this page.

What's your favorite winter veggie?

See results

Winter veggies warm our bodies and delight our senses

Colorful squashes, flavorful root vegetables tasting of the earth, dark leafy greens--they all brighten our tables, nourish our bodies and comfort our spirits.

Can you pick a favorite? I doubt I could. Too many to choose!

Hearty Kale, Cabbage & Potato Soup Recipe

Look at all those colorful vegetables! Just need to add the cabbage and the spices, and let it simmer a bit
Look at all those colorful vegetables! Just need to add the cabbage and the spices, and let it simmer a bit | Source

Serve it straight from the kettle

This soup always goes fast at our house. It's delicious the first day and just seems to get better every day after till it's all gone.

I use a homemade veggie stock that makes it taste like it simmered all day instead of taking minutes to make. Unbelievably easy to make and keep on hand.

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 10

Feeding a meat lover?

In the skillet you reserve for cooking meat brown 1/4" slices sweet Italian sausage, cut on the diagonal, on medium heat till caramelized and slightly crispy on the edges. Add to individual bowls.


  • 3 -4 C vegetable cooking water or stock*
  • 1 Lb potatoes cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 Lg yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 -3 Lg cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 -2 Carrots diced
  • 1 Bunch curly kale
  • 2 C Coarsely chopped green cabbage
  • Splash apple cider vinegar**
  • 1/2 t salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 T Garam Masala (Optional)

Rate this recipe!

5 stars from 1 rating of Hearty Kale, Cabbage & Potato Soup


  1. Bring vegetable cooking water or vegetable stock to boil.*
  2. Add potatoes, onion, garlic and carrots and return to gentle boil.
  3. While vegetables soften in the stock, strip leaves from kale stems. (Reserve stems for your next vegetable stock spot.*) Chop leaves to approximately 1 inch pieces and add all to pot. They look like a lot now, but will soon wilt into the pot nicely.
  4. Add cabbage, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer 10 minutes and serve. If adding Garam Marsala, add in last five minutes. The flavor of these spices is brightest if not cooked too long.
  6. Garnish with grated hard cheese or a sprinkling of fresh, chopped parsley and serve with chunks of crusty artisan bread.

Add a splash of vinegar to your iron-rich veggie soups & stews

A small amount of apple cider vinegar brightens a soup in much the way lemon juice brightens the flavor of many dishes. More importantly, it is said to help release the iron in our vegetables so our bodies can assimilate it more readily.

About that iron-vinegar connection

While human bodies absorb iron from meat readily, we don't take up much iron from the plants we eat, even when those plants contain more iron than red meat.

That's because there are two kinds of iron: Heme, found in meats, and non-heme, found in iron-rich vegetables.such as kale and spinach and legumes, like peanuts, dried beans and lentils.

To get the most iron from our plant-based diets, scientists discovered we need to eat acid foods, such as lemons and limes with our vegetables.

According to SFGate's Louise Tremblay, in What Foods Help the Absorption of Non-Heme Iron, apple cider vinegar is another good source of acid to help us get more iron from our veggies.

Somehow my grandmothers and mother before me knew this instinctively, without the aid of science, because they always used vinegars and citrus juices in recipes containing iron-rich vegetables. Did yours too?

Take your soup from stove top to table - in the Le Creuset cast iron enamel ware soup pot

Asta no longer makes the enamel-ware soup kettle I've been using for nearly forty years to take my soups from stove top to table, but Le Creuset makes a handsome assortment of beautiful stove-to-table pots. With these gorgeous kettles, you get all the efficiency and even heat of cast iron. Plus you get to choose from a rainbow of sparkling enameled colors. The smooth finish makes them easy to clean.

Le Creuset's latest soup kettle offering

Be the first to get this brand new style and shade from Le Creuset. Pre-order today!

For the medium-sized family

For the two of us, I usually need only a small 5-quart pot, but when company comes, it's always nice to have a larger one for big pots of chili, soups and stew.

I love all the colors Le Creuset pots come in. The steel ensures even heating. The enamel colors are brilliant.

For large holidays and large groups

If you have a large family or cook big batches of soups and chilis to freeze, the 20-quart enameled kettle will feed your hungry crowd and keep your freezer stocked.

These pots come in handy during canning and pickling season too.

Thanks for checking out this recipe

I'd love to know how you cope with the winter doldrums and which of the winter vegetables you cherish.

My Scotch-Irish ancestors loved cabbage and potatoes. I just discovered the Irish half of that equation loved kale with potatoes too. They served a dish, called colcannon, like this recipe from Martha Stewart, whose primary ingredients were mashed potatoes and kale.

All winter long, we use most of the dark leafy greans, cabbages, squashes of just about every shape and color, rutabagas, parsnips, and of course potatoes of all shapes, colors and sizes.

We roast them, steam them, mash them and use them in soups and salads. How do you use winter veggies?

© 2012 Kathryn Grace

Are you a fan of winter vegetables? What are some of your favorite ways to use them?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much! It's one of our favorites too. This week, I made it with white cannellini beans instead of potatoes. Fabulous!

    • profile image

      Christina 3 years ago

      I love this soup so much! It's one of those soups that you can eat a huge bowl of and not feel bad about! It's delicious and filling and my favorite

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @evawrites1: Thank you kindly.

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 4 years ago

      What a lovely veggie soup!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @smine27: Thank you, smine! I hope you love it as much as we do.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I am going to make this soup tonight as I have kale and I'm in the mood for soup. Thank you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @sierradawn lm: Oh, that's wonderful news! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      I came back to report that I fixed made this recipe for my family this week and it was a monster hit!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @seahorse60: You're welcome, and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Parsnips are a fairly recent discovery in our kitchen, and we have always loved cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

    • profile image

      seahorse60 4 years ago

      We love all vegetables and our favorites for winter are parsnips, cabbage and brussels sprouts. I like your idea of adding left over veggies to your freezer bowl saving food and preparation time, thanks!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @Diana Wenzel: I have kale in the fridge and potatoes in the panty right now. We just might share a soup tonight, across the miles.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      This is probably my 4th visit. I keep coming back to remind myself of the ingredients I need to pick up from the store. Hoping to stir up a pot of this delicious soup tonight. Yum!

    • MaureenCee profile image

      MaureenCee 5 years ago

      Another one I'll just HAVE to try it sounds so good.

    • profile image

      juzzviv 5 years ago

      this is looks very easy to whip up after a hard day at work!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @juzzviv: It is. Give it a try!

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 6 years ago

      I love kale and collards - so good for you too!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Sounds pretty tasty! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 6 years ago

      Kale is one of my favourite vegetables but I usually serve it shredded and steamed, I'm going to have to try your recipe for this soup!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Always looking for good recipes using kale, thank you for sharing!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Stopping back by to print out your recipe. I plan to make this soup today or tomorrow. Also, your tip about apple cider vinegar helping us to better assimilate the iron from veggies was something I was very happy to learn. You always provide such valuable and readily applicable knowledge. You are appreciated!

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 6 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Definitely heart-warming recipe! (Sorry for my previous spelling mistake;)

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Definitely heart-warming recipe:)

    • profile image

      Sundaycoffee 6 years ago

      Hi Grace, I cooked this soup on Sunday and it tastes really good. My family loved it too. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

    • profile image

      LanaKrug 6 years ago

      @ecogranny: :) I am glad!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      I love all vegetables. This soup looks and sounds delicious.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 6 years ago from San Francisco

      @LanaKrug: I'm so glad you took the time to let me know. Made my day!

    • profile image

      LanaKrug 6 years ago

      Guess what? Yesterday I had a chance to try this recipe, and it came out so delicious!!! I even brought some to work :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      We love our winter vegetables and this sounds like a great recipe. Nicely done, blessed.

    • profile image

      AskLou1 6 years ago

      My wife grows sweet meat squash, bakes it with a little brown sugar on it!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      Excellent recipe and I like the cheeky addition of garam masala. My mother is a vegetarian and I think I'll be sharing this recipe with her. Thank you!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, this looks absolutely delicious!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 6 years ago from UK

      I love soups and this seems a great one to try. thanks.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 6 years ago from San Francisco

      @anonymous: We like to eat raw cabbage, but this sounds so good, I just have to try it. Thank you for posting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for posting. For winter veggies...purple cabbage sliced very thin with sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, vinegar (unpasturized), and sprinkled with Parisian cheese.

    • renagirl profile image

      renagirl 6 years ago

      It all sounds sooo yummy

    • profile image

      preenit 6 years ago

      I'll try it.

    • lunagaze profile image

      lunagaze 6 years ago

      I like this will have for lunch

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i will try to make the potatoes soup. thanks

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 6 years ago

      I like to make kale and this recipe with potatoes sounds really yummy!

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      I am not familiar with kale and will look for some the next time I go shopping. My favourite winter veggies are definitely squash, especially acorn squash, that I stuff and bake.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      p.s. and cabbage too!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Loved the printable version feature - your recipe is printed off and will be made in the very near future. Our garden is brimming with kale, collard greens and swiss chard.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      I just love this lens and the soup sounds so-o-o good. I just made a big batch of potato, leek and kale soup. When it is gone I'll try this one. I like your idea for saving veggie scraps too. *Squid Angel Blessed* and added to My Squid Angel Blessings 2012 in the "Food & Cooking » Vegetarian » GoodVeg Magazine" neighborhood.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I now go away during winter but I loved soups in the winter.

    • profile image

      SallyForth 6 years ago

      I love winter vegetables in soups. Your lens is right up my alley.

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 6 years ago

      I like it all the different ways - especially if someone else does the cooking

    • profile image

      andrea-terry 6 years ago

      sent this to my mum as she has loads of kale her doctor put her onto kale for health reasons. So it was great just to have something else to do with kale then to boil it with spinash. A great lens thank you

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      I like to top any kind of veggies with my home-grown herbs to taste. :)

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      I was just at Trader Joe's and I passed up the vegan Italian sausage, which they were sampling (kinda expensive). Now I am thinking maybe I shouldn't have. How do I use winter veggies? Potato soup with leeks or greens. Sweet potato fries. Kale or cabbage with tahini dressing. SquidAngel blessings.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      I roast squash and sweet potato chunks or bake and smash a bit. I've learned to love kale and really like making it into kale "chips" - healthy crunchy snack!

    • profile image

      Scanabella 6 years ago

      Great lens! Acorn, Butternut and Sweet Dumplin are our favorites, love the Kale added to the boiled dinner! Thanks!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Yes I am. I would love to try your recipe.

    • N Beaulieu profile image

      N Beaulieu 6 years ago

      My mom makes a pot of cabbage rice soup to share then uses the leftover cabbage to make a coleslaw to eat the next day.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      I love winter vegetables roasted, baked or stewed.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 6 years ago from Indiana

      Yummy. Happy International Women's Day. Thanks for the receipe.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      Yumm, your soup looks so delicious! It's only morning time, but I think I could have a bowl or two of your veggie soup right now :)

    • esvoytko lm profile image

      esvoytko lm 6 years ago

      I make a dish very similar to this! Delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 6 years ago from USA

      I eat winter veggies in a variety of ways all through the year. Always looking for new ways to cook them. Congratulations on your purple star.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 6 years ago from Maryland

      I really love yams, although I do put kale in all of my juices, so I think that comes in a very close second! :)

    • SophiaStar LM profile image

      SophiaStar LM 6 years ago

      I love a good winter soup! This looks delicious will have to give it a try.

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 6 years ago

      Yes! It's such a nice change of pace. It helps me stay healthy throughout the cold months.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      I like winter squash and potatoes best. I bake my squash (or make squash soup) and mash or bake the potatoes. Youe soup look great! Congrats on the Purple


    • WilliamPower profile image

      WilliamPower 6 years ago

      Warm up with a hearty! That's me!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I'm just now learning how to cook with Kale because it's such a nutrient-dense food. This recipe looks like a great way to incorporate more greens into my diet. Thanks for sharing!

    • BestGamesQuest profile image

      BestGamesQuest 6 years ago

      Sounds so good! I also really like kale, and I'm always looking for new ways to use it.

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 6 years ago from Oregon

      Yum, this soup looks great! I am a big fan of kale and always interested in new recipes. Thanks!

    • ronaldpakasi profile image

      ronaldpakasi 6 years ago

      I'd like to try one...they're all look delicious! :D

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I always make something special for St. Patrick's Day. This year, I think I will try your soup. Thanks for the recipe.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 6 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I must try this recipe! I know it has to be delicious, if it's making me hungry in the morning. I use a lot of cabbage in the winter months. Stuffed cabbage, halushki, or just fried cabbage and onions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I forgot to mention that your soup sounds perfect for St. Patrick's Day with that nice green kale color and the potatoes was thinking it might be good with a little corned beef added in separately for meat lovers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I feel healthier just reading your recipe with your special health conscious touches and wisdom. I'd never even heard of Garam Masala and had to look it up to find it comes from Indian tradition for a bit of an exotic and specialness. Vinegar seems to be out friend in so many ways and unlocking iron is a good reason. Your tweaking of this family favorite to make your hearty kale, cabbage and potato soup sounds like a soup perfection. I was thinking that sweet Italian sausage might be nice for us meat lovers and there you were with it. A pan dedicated to cooking meat is new for me and I notice you add the meat only to the individual bowl rather than polluting the whole soup with meat. Very well done and informatively delicious!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I am a big fan of winter vegetables. Unfortunately, I live in a place that does not offer much in terms of organic produce any time of the year. Hence, I have moved greenhouse construction to the top of my priority list. Your recipe looks so delicious. Can't wait to try it. Thank you!

    • MGuberti profile image

      MGuberti 6 years ago

      Those foods look really good!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 6 years ago

      I love vegetables period!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I love winter squash and this recipe sounds great! As a meat eater, I would probably brown the sausage first and sauté the onions and garlic in the sausage fat first before adding to the soup for extra flavor.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I love winter squash and this recipe sounds great! As a meat eater, I would probably brown the sausage first and sauté the onions and garlic in the sausage fat first before adding to the soup for extra flavor.


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