This detox cabbage soup recipe is vegan, gluten-free, ultra-healthy, and packs a serious punch in terms of flavor. A whole head of cabbage, loads of savory spices, garlic, veggies, and fresh ginger make for a vibrant, deeply savory soup that will nourish you in all the best ways.

detox cabbage soup in a bowl with a spoon surrounded by small bowls of salt, pepper and lemon wedges and a cloth napkin.
Photo Credits: Kathrine Irwin

If you're looking for a truly nourishing and Mediterranean Diet-friendly cabbage soup recipe that will warm your soul this one is it!

I packed this soup with wholesome ingredients like carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions then seasoned everything with a dose of coriander, turmeric, cumin, and Aleppo pepper to create a harmonious blend of flavors. I finished it with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a spicy kick from freshly grated ginger.

This cabbage soup recipe is not only satisfying and delicious but also supports your overall well-being. It's filling, low-calorie, nutrient-rich, and feeds a crowd. Give it a try. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Table of Contents
  1. Cabbage Soup Flavor Makers
  2. Detox Cabbage Soup Ingredients
  3. How to Make Detox Cabbage Soup
  4. Can You Freeze this Cabbage Soup Recipe? 
  5. How to Core Cabbage
  6. Is Cabbage Good For You?
  7. What to Serve with Cabbage Soup
  8. You’ll Also Like: Nourishing Soup Recipes
  9. “Detox” Cabbage Soup with Turmeric and Ginger Recipe
Ingredients for detox cabbage soup including olive oil, onion, garlic, green cabbage, celery, carrots, salt pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, Aleppo pepper, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, parsley, green onions, fresh ginger, and lemon.

Cabbage Soup Flavor Makers

I call this my “detox” cabbage soup not just because of its wealth of vegetables, but also because of the citrus, ginger, and aromatic spices. Studies have shown turmeric has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that helps with the management of a wide range of conditions, from muscle soreness to anxiety.

Ginger has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (Check out the National Library of Medicine’s findings on turmeric and ginger for more info.) 

When these powerful ingredients are combined with additional flavor makers like lemon, Aleppo Pepper, Cumin, and Coriander you have a soup that's not only healthy but enjoyable to eat. In many Mediterranean cultures, these ingredients are commonly used. You can use Aleppo Pepper on fruit like this Grilled Mango recipe or in traditional breakfast recipes like Turkish poached eggs called Cilbir.

Cumin adds an earthy flavor while coriander brightens things up. Both are commonly found in spice blends like the Shawarma Seasoning used to make Chicken Shawarma or Shakshuka.

To incorporate more of these spices into your daily cooking check out our shop and build your own spice bundle. It's a great way to get started cooking the Mediterranean way.

Detox Cabbage Soup Ingredients

Aside from its super-ingredients, this soup is comforting, aromatic, and, most importantly, a delicious recipe you’ll want to make on repeat. Here's what you'll need to make it: 

  • Extra virgin olive oil is used to sauté the vegetables. Use a high-quality extra virgin variety
  • Onion and garlic bring a sweet and savory depth of flavor. I like the sweetness of yellow onion, but white onion or a couple of large shallots would also work. 
  • Green cabbage adds texture, a vitamin and mineral boost, and a mildly sweet flavor. You can substitute with Napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, but I would avoid or red cabbage. It has a has a more pronounced peppery flavor and the red color will leach into the soup.
  • Celery and carrots provide the soup’s aromatic foundation. 
  • Kosher salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. 
  • Turmeric, cumin, and coriander add complex peppery, earthy, savory flavor. 
  • Aleppo pepper adds a mild and bright kick. You can substitute with Urfa biber or red pepper flakes. 
  • Diced tomato adds brightness, sweetness, and texture. You can substitute canned whole tomatoes for a more rustic vibe. Just crush them with the back of a spoon. 
  • Vegetable broth adds flavor and body. Chicken broth also works well if you’d prefer.
  • Parsley and green onion add freshness. Feel free to substitute with other tender herbs, like cilantro or mint. 
  • Fresh ginger adds a boldly peppery note. 
  • Lemon zest and juice lifts the soup's savory quality, adding acidity for balance. 
An overhead photo of a pot of detox cabbage soup surrounded by small bowls of salt and pepper and a cloth napkin.


How to Make Detox Cabbage Soup

Cabbage breaks down fairly quickly–you don’t need a long simmer. And with a vibrant blend of spices and punchy aromatics like garlic and ginger, you can develop a deep flavor in under an hour. Here’s how:  

  • Get ready. This soup comes together pretty quickly so it’s best to do your prep work first. Chop 1 onion. Mince 3 garlic cloves (see my tips for how to mince garlic). Core and chop one head of green cabbage (see tips below). Chop 2 celery sticks, and slice 2 carrots into thin rounds.  
  • Sauté the aromatics. In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant (adjust the heat down to make sure the garlic does not burn). Chopped onion and minced garlic being sauteed in a pot with a wooden spoon. This is surrounded by a lemon half, a bunch of parsley, small bowls of various spices, salt and pepper, and a cloth napkin.
  • Soften the veggies. Add the cabbage, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ to ¾ teaspoon each). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 5 to 7 minutes (it helps to cover the pot partway so that the cabbage will wilt easily). cabbage, celery and carrots being softened in a pot with a wooden spoon. This is surrounded by a lemon half, a bunch of parsley, small bowls of various spices, salt and pepper, and a cloth napkin.
  • Season. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with the spices.  seasoning added to the sauteed aromatics in a pot with a wooden spoon. This is surrounded by a lemon half, a bunch of parsley, small bowls of various spices, salt and pepper, and a cloth napkin.
  • Simmer. Add a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (with their juices) and 3 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part way allowing just a small opening at the top. Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. broth being added to the vegetables and aromatics simmering in a pot with a wooden spoon. This is surrounded by a lemon half, a bunch of parsley, small bowls salt and pepper, and a cloth napkin.
  • Get the finishing touches ready. While the soup simmers, trim and slice 3 green onions (both white and green parts). Pick and chop enough parsley leaves to get you about 1 cup. Peel and finely grate a piece of fresh ginger, about 1-inch long. Zest a large lemon, then slice it in half and capture its juice.  
  • Finish and serve. Turn the heat off and stir in the parsley, chopped green onions, ginger, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine.parsley, green onions, ginger, lemon juice and zest added to the pot of detox cabbage soup with a wooden spoon. This is surrounded by a small bowl of pepper, and a cloth napkin.


Can You Freeze this Cabbage Soup Recipe? 

This cabbage soup freezes like a dream! It’s a great way to prepare for future colds or just to keep a healthy meal at the ready. Simply transfer to storage containers, leaving some room at the top to allow it to expand. Allow to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Thaw frozen soup in your refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stove or in your microwave. 

an overhead photo of 2 bowls of detox cabbage soup with spoons surrounded by small bowls of salt, pepper and lemon wedges, slices of crusty bread and cloth napkins.


How to Core Cabbage

Cabbage may seem like a big bowling ball of work, but it’s very simple to break down. To core and chop cabbage: 

  • Remove the outer leaves: Peel away and discard any damaged or wilted outer leaves of the cabbage.
  • Cut the cabbage in half: Place the cabbage on the cutting board with the stem side down. Use a big sharp knife to halve the cabbage through the center of the stem.
  • Core and chop the cabbage: Open the cabbage to expose the cut side. Cut a V-shaped notch around the bottom core where all the leaves become tight and hard, removing it. Repeat with the other half, then chop them just like you would a great big onion. 


Is Cabbage Good For You?

In short: Yes! Cabbage is a humble vegetable that’s low in calories but high in nutrients. In fact, green cabbage boasts as much calcium as oranges, according to the USDA, along with high levels of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. 

an overhead photo of detox cabbage soup in a bowl with a spoon surrounded by small bowls of salt and lemon wedges and a cloth napkin.


What to Serve with Cabbage Soup

This vegan cabbage soup is hearty enough on its own, you don’t need any sides. But you can add white beans, chickpeas, or shredded chicken for extra protein (rotisserie chicken would work well.)

A quick-rising fresh bread, like simit or challah, is a special treat. Or you can always go for a good store-bought bread and dress it up a little with garlic and parmesan while the soup simmers. 

You’ll Also Like: Nourishing Soup Recipes

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“Detox” Cabbage Soup with Turmeric and Ginger

Suzy Karadsheh
an overhead photo of detox cabbage soup in a bowl with a spoon surrounded by small bowls of salt, pepper and lemon wedges and a cloth napkin.
In this weeknight-friendly recipe, a whole head of cabbage stews with warming Mediterranean spices and aromatic veggies until it's silky-smooth and loaded with flavor. Vegan gluten free, this nourishing soup is where health food and comfort food join forces! Consider this your new go-to for when you crave a healthy, and, most importantly, delicious reset!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Total – 40 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Entree, Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomato
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped parsley leaves (from about 1 bunch parsley)
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the aromatics. In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot with a lid, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant (adjust the heat as necessary to make sure the garlic does not burn).
  • Soften the veggies. Add the cabbage, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ to ¾ teaspoon each). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 5 to 7 minutes (it helps to cover the pot partway so that the cabbage will wilt easily).
  • Season. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper and toss to coat the vegetables with the spices.
  • Simmer. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and the broth. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part way allowing just a small opening at the top. Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Finish and serve. Turn the heat off and stir in the parsley, chopped green onions, ginger, lemon zest and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 131.3kcalCarbohydrates: 20.7gProtein: 4.2gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.6gSodium: 151.9mgPotassium: 606.7mgFiber: 7.2gSugar: 9.5gVitamin A: 4591.7IUVitamin C: 89mgCalcium: 125.3mgIron: 2.7mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    A bowl of this delicious soup was so comforting while recuperating from a cold! I'm so happy I have a few leftovers today for lunch which allows me to rest!
    Thank you, Suzy!! I've been enjoying a lot of your tasty soup recipes during this brief downtime! ❤️

  2. 5 stars
    This is what my mother has always referred to as "go further" food; as the time passes you just add more stuff to it! I had a spaghetti squash that was one step away from compost - roasted that and poured the dregs of the cabbage soup over it - delicious! I also doubled the carrots and celery. So yummy - I feel like it would be really good with a kimchi version, as well!

  3. I am Lebanese, born in Montreal, Canada. I absolutely love love your recipes and how you present them in your presentations. Thank you for your amazing zeal and inspiration. It helps me to stay in the Mediterranean loop!

  4. This soup was amazing. Made to help me get over my cold. It’s very filling and flavorful! Haters gonna hate, just cuz it says “detox” in the title lol 😆

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, this is my 1st time making this soup and it is so darn good and filling. Just the right amount of spice too. Better than I anticipated. Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! I doubled the celery and carrots and added some leftover rotisserie chicken for a little protein. Will definitely be making this often!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious. I grabbed tomato paste at the grocery store thinking it was diced tomatoe and didn’t realize it until I was pouring it in but I just used like half and it was still so good. I like it eat it cold. It is incredibly filling too. I’m going to make a second batch tomorrow. Thank you.

  8. 5 stars
    Very tasty! I essentially doubled the recipe unknowingly by adding more vegetable: fennel bulb and stalks, kale, yellow squash, and red pepper and therefor doubled up on the spice and more liquid to compensate. It was very good!! My goal is to eat this soup for either lunch or dinner until it is gone. I’m sure it can be helpful with weight loss because it is filling and low calorie. Oh I also added a can of cannellini beans for protein.

  9. 5 stars
    Another great recipe - love the spices! Makes lots - I put 2 containers in the freezer. Very comforting flavors.

  10. 5 stars
    Needing something healthy this month, I made this recipe exactly as stated, except used the whole carton of no-salt-added veggie broth, so just shy of 4 cups. This soup is just what the doctor ordered. Nice and zingy and didn't need any additional salt or pepper.