Vibrant flavors come together in this cozy vegetarian cabbage soup recipe. Easy to make for an unfussy version of a classic, this vegetarian cabbage mushroom soup is simple to make and packed with all the hearty umami flavors! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe Inspiration
Funny thing how inspiration strikes from a craving. But this wasn’t just a craving, it was a major longing. Besides the fact there’d been a giant cabbage head in our CSA, I had a ton of it on hand. I knew it was time to experiment with a stuffed cabbage soup.
A few years ago, I blogged about Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and I absolutely love this recipe, but it’s a bit of work and definitely not weeknight appropriate. So I turned that recipe into a umami filled lentil-mushroom vegetarian cabbage soup. This stuffed cabbage roll soup is rich and hearty and oh so satisfying during the coldest of days.
Quick Guide: How to Make Vegetarian Cabbage Mushroom Soup
I took all the ingredients from my mushroom stuffed cabbage roll recipe and put each one into this hearty vegetarian cabbage soup! And seriously, it couldn’t be easier (see recipe card for details).
- First, rehydrate the porcini mushrooms. Then drain, reserving the broth and chop the porcini.
- Next, sear the crimini/baby bella mushrooms in a bit of olive oil.
- Continuing, add the porcini, shallots, and tomato paste. Deglaze the pot with white wine, then stir in the tomatoes, rice, lentils, reserved mushroom broth, veggie broth, water, thyme bundle and bayleaf.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Last, stir in the cabbage and simmer the soup, lidded, for about 45 minutes.
Share vegetarian cabbage soup with a loaf of crusty bread and a big salad to complete the meal.
A Few Recipe Tips
- Dried porcini mushrooms are a fabulous way to amp up the umami of this vegetarian cabbage soup. They can be left out however in favor of more crimini or baby bella mushrooms if desired. Increase mushrooms by about 1/4 lb or 1/2 C diced if omitting the dried mushrooms.
- Have you tried Better Than Bullion vegetable broth? (Not sponsored, I just love it!) It’s a fabulous concentrated broth that I use for all my brothy cooking! I love it because it’s organic, economical, produces less waste and the glass jar is easily recyclable.
- Can I freeze cabbage mushroom soup? Yes please! In fact, freeze cooled soup in individual lidded jars or storage containers for easy weekday lunches or in a larger container for meal prep. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat.
- I use French lentils in this vegetarian lentil soup recipe because they hold their shape and texture well and I can get them in our co-op’s bulk bins. But, green or brown lentils will work in this recipe as well.
More Cabbage Recipes to Love
- White Bean Cabbage Potato Soup
- Easy White Bean Cabbage Soup – by Making Thyme For Health
- Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Winter Vegetable Noodle Curry – by The Bojon Gourmet
Vegetarian Cabbage Soup with Lentils and Mushrooms Recipe
- 1 C (215g) Boiling Water
- 1/2 oz (28g) Dried Porcini Mushrooms or oyster
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 3/4 lb (255g) Baby Bella or Crimini Mushrooms remove stems and dice medium. About 4 Cups diced.
- 1/2 C (65g) Shallots chopped fine, about one medium shallot
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 1 C (200g) White Wine I use Chardonnay or dry Vermouth
- 1, 28oz (793g) Can of Diced Tomatoes and juices
- 4 C (708g) Vegetable Broth
- 1 C (236g) Reserved Mushroom Broth
- 2 C (472) Water
- 1/2 C (115g) French Lentils
- 1/4 C (65g) Long Grain Brown Rice
- 6 C (420g) Chopped Green Cabbage chopped smallish into bite size pieces. You'll need about 1 medium cabbage or about 1 1/4lb.
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 6-8 Thyme Stems tied together with cooking twine
- 1 3/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- Lemon, Fresh Thyme and Black Pepper for Garnish
- Transfer the porcini mushrooms to a medium bowl and pour 1 C boiling water over the porcini. Allow the mushrooms to rehydrate for about 15 minutes while prepping the other ingredients. Set a cheese cloth (or coffee filter) in a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl or large measuring cup to reserve the mushroom broth. Strain the mushrooms and set the broth aside. Remove the cheese cloth or coffee filter and rinse the mushrooms (sometimes they can have little bits of dirt on them). Chop fine. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, add the olive oil and turn the heat on to high. Once the oil is shimmering add the diced mushrooms and allow to sear, only stirring occassionally for 6-7 minutes, or until golden and cooked down. Turn the heat to medium and to the pot, add the chopped porcini, shallots, and tomato paste. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring occassionally. All the shallots and mushrooms should be covered in tomato paste and their should be some sticking on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan and simmer for 3 minutes, or reduce the wine by about 1/2.
- To the soup pot add the diced tomatoes and juices, veggie broth, reserved mushroom broth, water, lentils, and rice. Bring to a simmer then, stir in the cabbage. Add the bayleaf, thyme bundle, and salt. Cover the pot, and cook on low for about 40-45 minutes or until the lentils and rice are tender.
- To the soup pot, squeeze in about 1/2 a lemon juice, stir, taste for salt adjustment. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with fresh thyme, generous twists of fresh black pepper and crusty bread.
- Store leftovers in lidded containers for up to three days or freeze cooled soup for up to two weeks.
Made my first batch yesterday and it’s definitely a keeper. I had a carrot and a turnip that needed to be used so I added them, plus a couple of tablespoons of Korean red chili paste. Thank you, Traci!
Hi Tom! Thank you for coming back and leaving a note. A few tablespoons of chili paste – delish!
A wonderful recipe! I added a tablespoon of red pepper paste (medium) and it made the broth a little richer. My husband said it was one the best soups he has had in awhile. (: A keeper, for sure.
Hi Linda! Thank you for coming back and leaving a note. I LOVE the idea of red pepper paste – SO delicious! Hooray for a new keeper!
I am making this and would like to know if I can just use dried thyme. I do not have fresh so if so, how much should I use and also LAN on freezing. Should have add the lemon juice before freezing or wait till I’m ready to thaw and heat?
Hi Minkae…. use dried but add it while the soup cooks to taste.. maybe 1/2 teaspoon. Add the lemon just before serving. I hope this helps!
Sounds yummy! I’m going to try it. Please clarify which is better lemon juice or lime juice, I noticed both are mentioned in the recipe the lemon juice is mentioned in the ingredients, but the lime juice is mentioned at the end of the description.
Hi Joanne! Lemon! Thank you for catching that – I’ve fixed it! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Sarah | Well and Full
This is the savory soup of my dreams! And I love that you made cabbage the star, that’s a vegetable I want to get more familiar with! :)
I SO get it, Sarah! I absolutely love cabbage. It’s packed with flavor and good for us nutrients. I hope you enjoy the recipe, Sarah!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
This is my kind of soup, Traci – full of healthy vegetables and lentils, low in fat and fills you up – just an all round good for you kind of soup. Perfect for these wintery cold days. I haven’t tried better than bouillon – but will look out for it in the store – thanks for the tip. Hope you had a great weekend!
You’re going to loove better than bouillon! I hope you enjoy the soup, Geraldine!
Traci, This is the perfect healthy winter soup. It is packed with all the good stuff. The best thing is that you can easily make it on a Tuesday night for dinner.
As always gorgeous photos my friend.
PS: Gimme all the umami!! :)
I’m with you Ayse! All the umami! :D Thank you for your support my dear! xo
This sounds great, going to make it soon. Such cold and icy weather lately, this will be perfect!
Hi Charlie! Thank you for your note. I hope you enjoy the recipe and it is a good warmer for you!
One of the very few things my mother-in-law enjoyed making when she cooked was stuffed cabbage. I never grew up with it but it was good. This recipe sounds much more like something I’d prefer to serve! Better than Bouillion is a staple in my kitchen as well. Enjoy your time with your Mom and that loaf of sourdough bread with your name on it!
Same here… I’d only had it once as a kid, but have fond memories of it. Indeed this is an easier version to pull together, but still packed with SO much flavor! Isn’t Better than Bouillion so fantastic!? The only thing, the lids get stuck easily :/ Oh the sourdough is glorious!! :D
dr deborah bernstein
I’m a huge fan of unstuffed cabbage. This looks wonderful. And as usual your photog is amazing!!
I’m SO with you Deb! Thank you for your kind words :D
Such a great idea to turn those gorgeous cabbage rolls into a soup! Your photos tell a story, my friend. I love this!
Thank you Annie :D !
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I just made an unstuffed cabbage soup Traci! But I think I like your version here with lentils and mushrooms. Loving all the flavor and ease of this recipe. Perfect winter cozy food too!
I love hearing that Mary Ann! Isn’t it soooo comforting?