Hearty, easy, nourishing and so mouth-watering; White Bean Cabbage Soup is a steamy one-pot recipe that will serve up cozy during the coldest months of the year. This vegetarian or vegan cabbage soup recipe is freezer friendly and gluten free.
White Bean and Cabbage Soup Comfort Food
It’s so chilly outside, and the rain and wind has returned to the Pacific Northwest. Comfort food like this Cabbage Bean Soup has made its way into our weekly rotation.
I find soups and stews to be one of the simplest ways to deliver comfort during the chilliest of seasons. Easy too in that this cabbage soup comes together in one pot, and with some cook time flexibility.
Here’s Why You’ll Love this Soup
- Nourishing, filling, super hearty
- Texture rich
- Easy to make
- SOOO comforting
Cabbage White Bean Soup Ingredients
The simplest ingredients come together to make a most hearty and nourishing soup! Here’s what you’ll need to make it (see recipe card for details):
- Butter, Plant or Dairy or Olive Oil – All butter produces a really tasty, rich soup. But you can use all or a mix if you like.
- Leeks – Slice lengthwise then fan out under running water to rid any dirt.
- Green Cabbage – I’ve used savoy (pictured) and green. While I prefer green, either will work. Green tends to stand up more to the cooking time, producing a more texture-rich soup while the more tender savoy tends to cook down a bit more.
- Garlic – Fresh minced for best flavor.
- Veggie Broth – For a chunkier soup, hold out at least 2 C broth. If you like a looser soup, add all the broth. This soup relies on a high quality broth to deliver best flavor. If using prepared broth, I like Better Than Bouillon.
- Potatoes – Use russet, or yellow finn 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 the shorter amount of time. Longer for a more creamy texture.
- Thyme – Use fresh for best flavor.
- Cooked White Beans – Cannellini Beans are also referred to as White Kidney Beans. They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture.
Quick Guide: How to Make this Easy Cabbage Bean Soup
- First, in a large Dutch oven or stock-pot, add the olive oil (or butter) and heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage and stir, cooking down just a bit.
- Next, add the garlic, salt, 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.
Share vegetarian or vegan cabbage soup with crusty bread and a big salad to complete the meal.
- Vegetarian or Vegan Cabbage Soup: Butter (plant or dairy) or Olive Oil? I prefer the richness unsalted dairy butter adds to this soup. Use olive oil or plant butter for dairy-free. If using plant butter omit the salt due to the salt content already in most plant butters and adjust the salt to taste near the end of cooking.
- How to Store Cabbage Soup: Refrigerate in a lidded container for up to three days. Or, if you love freezer meals like me, freeze in individual serving jars, or containers for lunch portions, or in a larger container for family meals.
- How long can Cabbage and Bean Soup be frozen? Freeze for up to two weeks. I’m anti-freezer burn so I don’t leave most food in the freezer too long. Thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm on the stovetop on low heat.
More Cabbage Recipes You’ll Love
White Bean Cabbage Potato Soup Recipe
- 4 Tbs Unsalted Butter, olive oil or plant butter* (see note)
- 5 C (436g) Leeks, sliced thin, about two large leeks
- 8 C (348g) Green or Savoy Cabbage, cut into bite size pieces or thinly sliced** (see note)
- 2 C (285g) Russet or Yellow Finn Potatoes, skins on, cut into small cubes, about one large potato
- 8 C (1.7kg) Vegetable Broth *** see note
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt + more to taste, reduce to 1/4 tsp if using plant butter and adjust to taste
- 2 C (425g) Cooked Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 4-5 Thyme Springs, tied
- Squeeze of Lemon to taste
- Parmesan Cheese for garnish (optional)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- In a large 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 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 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 low 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 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.
For both salad and soup! So good as is. So easy to tweek. I like to keep baggies of chopped salad goodies in fridge to top, the best looking greens at the ‘farmers market’.I have given up on grocery store produce! Always have nuts and dried fruits, too. I make vegan salad dressings or, just lemon juice&evoo. I do freeze leftover soup. When cooking a steak , chop
ham steak with a bone, I save the bone and some of the au jus for soup starters. The ham steak bones are great for a pot of beans. If I have a little leftover cooked meat or veggies I just add to the warming leftover soup. The posibilites are endless!! Thanx Traci! Happy Healthy Holidaze!raf
Laura A Miller
Traci, this is fabulous !! I enjoyed this several days. Until it was all gone! Love the flexibility of your recipes! I used butter, green cabbage and the yellow potatoes. Still loving the “better than boulion” vegetable broth that you taught me about. The thyme really sets this off as well! Another “keeper” recipe from you! Everything you make looks (and is) sooooo good!! Thank you again for sharing!!
Hiii Laura! SO happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog and this soup (a personal favorite). That BTB really helps make it super tasty… ah, and the thyme is so lovely. I truly appreciate your feedback and giving so many V&B recipes a go!
Always love a cabbage recipe and this one turned out very good. I used partially cooked dried beans and added them early with an extra cup because they were there HAA. Served with sourdough bread. I will freeze individual servings which will be perfect after a morning of birding in the snow.
Hiii Carolyn! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go. Birding in the snow, then coming home to hot cabbage soup sounds like a day well spent!
Thank you so much for the soup recipe! I have lots of Swanson low sodium chicken broth, so I used that instead although your Better Than Bouillon looks so much better. I halved the recipe. I added Litehouse freeze-dried thyme instead of a thyme bundle. It turned out nice & tasty still, even though it looks nothing like your photo! My picky mom even liked it! I’ll definitely be making this soup again. It was my first time cooking leeks and possibly eating leeks.
Hooray for leeks, Angel Lisa! Thank you for your note and giving the soup a go (it’s a favorite around here!). And that your mom enjoyed it too, it’s a win-win!
I made this last night and was shocked at how flavourful and delicious it was. I used a can of mixed beans, Better Than Bouillion, and a tsp of thyme because that was what I had on hand. The simple, inexpensive ingredients and heartiness ticked all the boxes for me, so this will now become my go to comfort soup. Thank you!
Hi Suzanne! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go. This is one of my favorites too because of all the things you mentioned! Isn’t BTB the best?! SO flavorful!
Great winter soup recipe! I substituted with navy beans – running to the store for one item is a trip I avoid right now! I also opted for the thicker version – 6 cups of veggie broth. The pictures helped because I was not sure what a “sprig” actually meant HA! Anything with cabbage makes my list.
Oh my Carolyn! YES to anything with cabbage… I’m SO with you. I lol on sprig… I didn’t know what else to call it! Navy beans sound lovely. Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go!
Hello again, yes – sprig is the right word for sure, the rabbit hole was the sprig within a sprig conversation in my head – still grinning….
LOL!! Same – thanks for the smile, Carolyn!
I followed it to a tee…..just wasn’t very flavorful. Kind of sad.
I’m sorry to hear the soup didn’t work for you, Christine.
I made this per your recipe and was totally delighted, the taste, texture and goodness were excellent..I am considering adding Farro or Bulgur to it. i’m vegetarian and love the flavor added by either.
So happy to hear, Jack! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go! Farro or bulger would be a lovely addition!
Not sure why it took me so long, but I finally made this recipe today. I had received cabbage, potatoes, and leeks in a Misfits Market box this week, and although I did not have cannelloni beans, I did have some White Navy Beans that I had cooked up a few weeks ago in put the freezer; so it seemed like the right time to make this. Wow! So, so good! Since I live alone, I am going to have plenty to freeze, but I am looking forward to having this for lunch for the next few days! Thanks for another “keeper,” Traci!
Hii Jonel! SO nice to see your note and that you enjoyed the soup! Navy beans are perfect for it. Isn’t it so hearty and flavorful? This is one I make again and again. So happy to hear there’s more in the freezer…!
Delicious! Definitely a keeper! I used navy beans but followed the recipe as written with great results.
So happy to hear Amanda! Thank you for coming back and leaving a note! The navy beans are perfect.
Made it exactly as written and gobbled it all up!
I love your enthusiasm! :D So happy to hear you enjoyed it Margaret. I hope there’s some in the freezer? Thank you for your rating and sharing with me!
Traci, I made this last week to take for lunch and ended up sharing with a bunch of my work colleagues! I added some rotisserie chicken (obviously, I’m not vegan or vegetarian!) and it was wonderful! The butter adds a richness to the broth that really makes this a hearty soup.
Making this again today – thanks for this!
Hi Shannon! SO happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipe! Indeed (!!) the butter!! Thank you for your note and rating Shannon! Day made!
Made tonight with Savoy cabbage and a few red potatoes and a can of great northern beans. So simple and delicious. Oh! I had a Parmesan rind I popped in the soup while it cooked. Great for a fall night!
Hi RL! Ooooh that parm rind – thank you for that and your note! So happy to hear you’re enjoying the soup. It’s one of my favorite go-to recipes!
I made this recipe and it tasted delicious!
My husband and I adore this nutritious meal. It’s perfect for dinner anytime of year. All the ingredients go so good together, and the beans add a great amount of protein. Sometimes I add celery to the dish, and it turns out great. In short, this warm, comforting soup rocks! Thank you for sharing it with us Traci. I love your blog!
So happy to hear, Ann! Thank you for giving it a go, leaving a note, rating and such kind words :D ! This is one of those soups I make again and again… it IS so comforting. Celery sounds like a delicious addition!
Just what I needed,yum! Thanks for posting!
You got it Doreen! Thank you for your note!
This was a crowd pleaser for my children and grandchildren. I usually like trying recipes out before serving company, but you have never let me down ;)
SO happy to hear Delin! Hooray! Thank you for your note, kind words and rating! All the yesses for a crowd pleasing soup!
Can’t wait to make! I just fall more in love with your recipes each week.. thanks so much for sharing them! Hope you’re feeling better soonest and a big YES PLEASE on the sourdough biscuits.. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy both those wonderful flavors this fall.
Hii Daisy! Thank you so much for your kind words, sending a smile and vote for those biscuits! They’ll be on the blog as soon as I get the details of the recipe tweaked! :D LMK if you give this soup a go!
Aysegul D Sanford
Such a heartwarming soup for the cold months. I can eat this every day.
So well done my friend.
Hii Ayse… thank you! I’m so with you! It’s one I make over and over again.
Can this be put in slow cooker?
Hi Dawn! I wouldn’t hesitate putting it in the slow cooker. If I were to do it, I’d give it about 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low to start. The veggies should be cooked down and tender when done. Watch the broth level though. If the slow cooker lid is loose fitting, more steam will escape. Add more veggie broth if needed. Stir in the beans 30 minutes before service to warm through. If you give it a go, please let us know how it turns out!
Just made this today and it was delicious! My family loved it. What I liked was the simple ingredients and that by making more and more soups it doesn’t feel complicated anymore. I was always intimidated by making broth.
Sending love from Latvia! :)
Love, Love your Recipes! Made many of your tasty recipes and everyone loves them..
Thank you so much Gitta!! :D
A friend of mine made this soup and I loved it! I’m trying to lose some weight and was wondering if you had the nutritional facts for this recipe? Thanks!
Hi Angie! Thank you for your note. I do not have the USDA nutritional facts for this recipe.
Thank you for your response!
I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it. So many of my favorite things! It tastes great, is easy to make, and all were pleased with this and a baguette. Thank you, and Bravo.
Hey Greg! So happy you enjoyed the recipe with said baguette – a perfect dipping vessel ;) (!!) Thank you for your note!
Just discovered your blog, so beautiful!! I’ve actually just recently started using Headspace and have been loving it!! I’m so excited to try some of your gorgeous recipes :)
What is an alternative for the potatoes?
Hi Hannah. I’m sorry I don’t have a suggestion for an alternative for the potatoes. You can leave them out if you wish. Just reduce the cooking time. Your soup will be ready in no time!