Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

What You'll Need

  • good kitchen knife and clean cutting surface
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 large stock pots
  • large mesh strainer
  • spoon for stirring
  • bowls for serving and garnishes
For the Vegetable Stock
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • the remainder of the cabbage that will be used in soup (depending on size, 1-2 cups cabbage, core included)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery or fennel, sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 6” piece dulse or other flavorful seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 cups water
For the Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sliced shitake, crimini or button mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small potato or sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 stalks fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced, diced, or matchsticked as you like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground in mortar and pestle
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic honey or regular honey, if desired
  • 2 teaspoons minced
This recipe is based on one by Edward Espe Brown, with a few special ingredients that you may have made along with us over the preceding months; the tarragon vinegar is especially good here, with the sweet anise-like notes, but it’s fun sometimes to substitute lime juice, if you have it, instead of tarragon vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The honey fermented garlic, too, when minced finely is a really special addition, intensely sweet and lightly garlicky. It’s a fragrant soup, made in two parts, substantial enough to satisfy in the cooler months, but not so heavy you couldn’t make it with fresh tomatoes when they come back in season.
ingredients for cabbage soup


Prep all ingredients for stock and soup. prep ingredients for stockUse the trimmings from the soup ingredients to add to the stockpot. Place all stock ingredients and soup trimmings in stockpot and cover with 12 cups water. Bring the stock to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, start the soup at your leisure.

Melt butter or coconut oil in a large, non-reactive stockpot. Add the onions and cook them over moderate heat until transparent.
Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. cook mushrooms
Add the potatoes, celery and fennel, carrot, tamari, ginger, and spices. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.add carrots and potatoes
Add the cabbage, tomatoes, and reserved tomato juices. add tomato juicesSimmer for 5 minutes.
When the stock has finished cooking, strain and measure the remaining liquid; you should have around 9 cups. strain stock
Add the strained stock to the cabbage and other soup ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.add to soup
Add the vinegar, starting with the smaller amount, and adding more to taste. Do the same with the honey or garlic honey, as your taste buds lead you. Remove from heat.
add vinegar to taste
Add the minced honey fermented garlic at the end, to preserve the probiotic benefit.
add fermented garlic
Served garnished with fresh minced cilantro and scallions, or a dollop of sour cream, as desired. A dash of fermented hot sauce would not be amiss, either, if that’s your thing.

Over to You

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