Simple ingredients create a hearty and nourishing Cabbage Bean Soup. Cooked on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or soup pot, this White Bean Cabbage Soup with Potatoes is a steamy one-pot recipe that will serve up cozy during the coldest months of the year. Get dinner on the table quickly with a simmer time of just 20 minutes, or cook up to 40 minutes for a softer, creamier texture. This recipe is vegetarian or vegan and easily gluten free.
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White Bean and Cabbage Soup Comfort Food
It’s chilly outside, and the rain and wind has returned to the Pacific Northwest. Comfort food like this Cabbage Bean Soup has entered our weekly rotation again.
I find soups and stews one of the simplest ways to deliver comfort during the chilliest seasons. Easy, too in that this cabbage bean soup comes together in one pot. With some cooking time flexibility, you can get dinner on the table quickly, or linger in the kitchen a little longer.
This Soup Is:
- nourishing, filling, super hearty
- vegetarian or vegan
- easy to make in one pot
- sooooo comforting
You’ll enjoy this nourishing soup if you love cozy vegetable soup recipes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Simple ingredients combine to make a hearty and nourishing vegetarian cabbage and bean soup. Here’s what you’ll need to make it (see recipe card for details):
- Butter and/or Olive Oil – you can use dairy butter, plant butter, olive oil or a combination. I find all butter or a combination of butter and olive oil produces an extra-rich soup. But, if you prefer all olive oil, you can use it with delicious results.
- Leeks – with a similar but less bold flavor of onion, they provide texture and a bit of a sweet flavor in this soup. Slice lengthwise, then fan out under running water to rid any dirt. Cut off and discard the tough green top.
- Cabbage – use savoy or green cabbage. While I prefer green, either will work. Green tends to stand up more to longer cooking time, producing a more texture-rich soup, while tender savoy tends to cook down more. Pictured is green cabbage. See the recipe video for this soup made with savoy cabbage on the recipe card.
- Garlic – use fresh minced for best flavor. I like to add an extra clove for a bolder garlicky flavor.
- Vegetable Broth – this soup relies on a high-quality broth to deliver the best flavor. If using prepared broth, I like Better Than Bouillon (I use low sodium). Homemade vegetable stock is delicious as well. For a chunkier soup, hold out at least 2 cups broth. If you like a looser soup, add all the broth.
- Potatoes – use russet or yellow finn potatoes, leaving the skin on for nutrition and texture. The longer the soup cooks, the more the potatoes will cook down into the soup. If you prefer fork-tender potatoes, cook them for a shorter amount of time. Longer for a more creamy texture.
- Thyme – use fresh for best flavor.
- Cooked White Beans – cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans. They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture. You can use canned or home cooked.
At a Glance: How to Make Cabbage Bean Soup with Potatoes
- First, add the butter and/or olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot and heat until melted or shimmering. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage and stir, cooking it down just a bit.
- Next, add the garlic, salt, veggie broth, potatoes and thyme bundle. Bring to a simmer, then cook on low for about 20 minutes for a fork-tender potato or 40 minutes to let the potatoes soften further and melt down into the soup (this time is flexible).
- Last, remove the thyme bundle and stir in the beans. Warm through, about five minutes and add a good squeeze of lemon.
The longer the soup cooks, the softer the potatoes get, creating an even creamier white bean cabbage soup.
What to Serve with Soup
White bean and cabbage soup is hearty enough on its own, but to round out the meal, share it with a big seasonal salad and crusty bread for dunking. Here are a few ideas:
- Soup Pot: beautiful, functional, and durable my favorite Dutch oven cooks soup recipes and so much more. I love the 4-quart size, perfect for beans, stews, soups, and fried rice. It lives on my stovetop.
- Vegetarian or Vegan Cabbage Soup: this recipe is completely flexible. Use dairy butter, plant butter, olive oil, or a combination. I prefer the richness that unsalted dairy butter adds to this soup. For a dairy free or vegan soup, use olive oil or plant butter for dairy-free. If using salted plant butter, omit the salt in the recipe due to the salt content already in the butter and adjust the salt to taste near the end of cooking.
- How to Store: refrigerate in a lidded container for up to three days. Gently reheat on the stovetop for about 10 minutes.
- How to Freeze: this soup is a perfect freezer meal! Allow the soup to cool completely, then store it in a lidded freezer container for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then gently reheat on the stovetop for about 10 minutes.
More Cabbage Recipes to Try
Hearty White Bean and Cabbage Soup with Potatoes
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter olive oil or plant butter* (see note)
- 5 cups (345 grams) Leeks sliced thin, about two large leeks
- 8 cups (440 grams) Green or Savoy Cabbage cut into bite size pieces or thinly sliced** (see note)
- 2 cups (285 grams) Russet or Yellow Finn Potatoes skins on, cut into small cubes, about two small potatoes
- 8 cups (1.7 kilograms) Vegetable Broth I use low sodium, ***see note
- 4 Fat Cloves of Garlic minced, add up to 6 cloves for more garlicy flavor.
- 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt + more to taste, reduce to 1/4 tsp if using plant butter and adjust to taste
- 1 3/4 cups (425 grams) Cooked Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed
- 4-5 Thyme Springs tied
- Squeeze of Lemon to taste
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese for garnish (optional)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- In a large 4-quart (3.8 liters) Dutch Oven or stock-pot, add the olive oil (or butter and melt) and heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently on medium-low until they're soft with a bit of golden color, about 10 minutes. Watch them close, as they can burn easily.
- Add the cabbage to the leeks. Cook on medium low stirring occassionally to cook down, about 9-10 minutes (the pot will be very full!).
- Add garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, broth, potatoes and thyme bundle. Bring to a simmer, then cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes for a fork tender potato (this will vary depending on type of potato and size of cut, so test to taste), or 40 minutes to let the potatoes soften further (this time is flexible – cooking the potatoes longer will allow them to be more creamy and melt into the soup – yum!)
- Remove the thyme bundle, stir in the beans and a good squeeze of lemon (it brightens the soup). Warm through, about five minutes. Taste to adjust salt and pepper seasoning as needed. Due to variations in salt content in vegetable broth, add salt to taste. I'm pretty generous with it in this recipe. Garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh thyme leaves if desired.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days. This soup is freezer friendly. Freeze in individual containers for lunch portion servings or a larger family size container. Thaw overnight in the fridge and gently rewarm on the stovetop.