Our Southern Style Cabbage Soup will quickly become a family favorite. This warm and hearty dish is frugal to prepare and great for year round cooking.
They say ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. Anytime I tell my husband I am making Cabbage Soup for dinner, he calls me a few extra times during his work day! This dish is popular in my home for it’s flavor and for it’s stick-to-the-ribs goodness.
Having been born and raised in the south, I grew up eating Cabbage soup cooked just like this, seasoned with ham bits and served with a side of cornbread.
More Cabbage Recipes
- Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Skillet Cabbage, Rice & Sausage
- Stovetop Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Bacon
- Homemade Creamy Cole Slaw
Be sure to print or download our Southern Cornbread Recipe to go with this hearty soup.
The Benefits of Eating Cabbage include:
- 1/2 cup of cooked cabbage provides 47% of your daily Vitamin C*
- 1/2 cup also provides 102% of Vitamin K*
- Cabbage contains antioxidants
- Cabbage soup is a frugal meal
How to Buy Cabbage
- Select a head of cabbage which is firm and compact.
- Any markings may indicate damage such as worm damage.
- Typically at the grocery store you will find heads of cabbage with all of the loose outer dark green leaves already removed. If you want to use the darker green outer leaves, shop at your local farmers market for locally grown cabbage.
- Cabbage is a cooler weather crop so it should be available fresh throughout the winter months.
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Save the ham!
Anytime we have Baked Ham, I make a point to save the ham bone in the freezer with at least some meat still attached to be used in a pot of Hoppin John. I also save enough little pieces of ham into a freezer bag for a pot of Cabbage Soup. It doesn’t take much.
If you don’t have ham pieces in the freezer, don’t worry. Just pick up a small (8 oz.) package of cubed ham from the meat section at the grocery store.
Chop the cabbage up good but leave the hard center core out. We never cook the core. You will notice I did find a head of cabbage with some dark green leaves. I’d like just a few of those in my pot.
Cabbage turns mostly white while it cooking. That is perfectly normal.
This goes against instincts but you do want to pile the pot up high with cabbage even beyond the rim. Notice how I pile it towards the center of the pot.
A word of advice! Pile the cut up cabbage in the pot first and then add water because, the water will make the cabbage rise. Don’t add too much water at first. You can easily add more water as the cabbage begins to cook down. It will shrink below the rim of the pot rather quickly. I keep a kettle of hot water handy to add more water to the pot.
Cabbage is done when it is fork tender. As previously mentioned, cabbage will turn white as it is cooking which is normal. A word of warning if this is your first time cooking cabbage, it does not smell good cooking. It isn’t as bad as cooking collard greens but it isn’t a pleasant smell.
Southern Style Cabbage Soup easy recipe
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 pkg. (8oz.) Ham bits
- 2 Cups Chicken broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Bring the chicken broth to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven.
- Add the ham bits to the water.
- Cut the cabbage into bite size pieces. Do not shred.
- Add the cabbage to the broth.
- Add the salt and sugar and stir.
- Allow to boil gently until the cabbage has become tender, about 30-45 minutes. The cabbage will turn a lighter color while cooking. You may need to add water to keep the cabbage covered so you will have plenty of juice for your soup. You can either add water or more chicken broth if you have it available.
- Serve and enjoy!
When we cook Cabbage Soup here in the south, we generally say we are having Cabbage and cornbread for supper. It is a true southern favorite!