Beef Cabbage Soup is a hearty, nutritious, "loaded with stuff" winter favorite! It's rich and satisfying with carrots, onions, celery, shredded cabbage, chunky potatoes, ground beef, and white beans in a silky tomato broth topped with Parmesan and crusty bread. A total comfort food, this soup warms you up no matter the weather!
Why We Love It!
- It's a Deliciously Balanced Meal! - This soup has it all, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of soup! Which is why we love it, it just feels so healthy and nourishing. Tons of veggies, ground beef, beans, potatoes and that lovely way canned tomatoes with their juices combine with chicken stock to make that rich velvety broth.
- A Pot of Comfort Food Simmering on the Stovetop - I love having a big pot of soup simmering away on the stove on a weekend. You can throw it together anytime during the afternoon and keep it on low, so it's ready when you are.
- If you Love Healthy Soups, try my Chicken Tortilla Soup, Orzo Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup, or Pasta Fagioli Soup!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground Beef - One pound is about right, but add more or less depending on how meaty you like your soup. You can make this Hamburger Cabbage Soup vegetarian by just omitting the beef.
- Onion, Carrot, Celery - This is a seriously healthy soup! All those veggies add an earthy base of flavor and pack the nutrition!
- Baby Red Potatoes - I used 15 baby red potatoes, but about 2 to 3 cups of any diced potato will do. Baby reds, fingerlings, or Yukon golds have delicate skin that you don't need to peel. If using a tougher potato like a Russet, you can peel them.
- Salt and Pepper - All those veggies need salt and pepper to bring out their flavor! Season as you go and give it a taste at the end, adjust as needed!
- Napa Cabbage - Super nutritious, cabbage adds loads of vitamins and a delicious texture to this soup. Use the other half of your cabbage for Kale Apple Slaw or in a stir-fry with Homemade Chicken Apple Potstickers!
- Garlic - Fresh chopped garlic adds lots of flavor, fresh is best if you have it!
- Diced Tomatoes - This cabbage hamburger soup with tomato juice from the canned tomatoes combines with the stock for a silky rich red broth. You can use diced tomatoes, stewed or whole peeled tomatoes, just chop them on a cutting board or pulse in the food processor. Just be sure to add all the juice from the can. When adding the water for the recipe, first pour it into the empty tomato can to grab every last bit of juice.
- White Beans - Adding protein and fiber, any type of white beans will work such as great northern, cannellini, or navy beans.
- Chicken Stock - Adds rich flavor when combined with the tomato juices. Beef or vegetable stock can be substituted. Save your bones and vegetable scraps and start making your own Homemade Chicken Stock for the Freezer!
- Fresh Parsley - A bit of fresh herbs adds a bright flavor to the soup! If you don't have it, a teaspoon of Italian seasoning can be substituted.
- Parmesan Cheese and Crusty Bread - The toppings and dippers are always the best part! Saltines are good too!
Step 1 - Begin browning the beef in a large soup pot. Wash and chop your veggies, no need to peel the potatoes or carrots.
Step 2 - When the ground beef is almost done, move it to the side of the pot and saute the veggies on the other side. Season it all with salt and pepper.
Try to keep them separate so the moisture from the veggies stays away from the browning beef.
Step 3 - When the beef is fully cooked, add the cabbage and garlic and continue cooking. You can mix everything together.
Step 4 - Add the tomatoes, beans, stock, water and parsley and season again with salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese, a vegetable peeler works great for this! Add crusty bread or saltine crackers for dunking.
- Storage Instructions - Store leftover soup in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 4 months. It's always best to allow hot soup to cool on the counter or in the fridge without a lid for about an hour before covering. Always cool completely in the fridge before freezing.
- A Note on Salt - Salt can be a personal preference in soup. I've added it two times along the way in this recipe. First to season the sautéing veggies and beef, and then again later as the soup is coming together. All those veggies do need a fair amount of seasoning, but if you like things less salty, season as you go, and taste at the end to see if you've added enough. You can always add more salt, but you can't take it out.
- Don't Worry about Exact Amounts - This is a forgiving soup! If you only have 1 rib of celery, no problem. Like extra carrots, add them in! Love beans, add 2 cans. The soup will be just fine with these minor alterations! If your soup ever feels too thick with the amount of ingredients you've added, just add more stock or water to get it to the right consistency.
Yes! This is a completely gluten-free hamburger potato cabbage soup, no need to change a thing! This is a broth and tomato based soup, no need for a flour thickener. Instead, its thickness comes from being just so loaded with healthy ingredients, meat, veggies, potatoes, and beans!
Yes and no. The potatoes and beans add carbs to this hamburger cabbage soup. However, these are not necessarily unhealthy carbs! This is overall a very nutritious soup, full of veggies and healthy fiber from those beans and potatoes. If you'd like to lessen or omit either the potatoes or the beans, that would be just fine for this soup!
Yes! Simply omit the beef and substitute vegetable stock and you have a completely vegetarian and vegan cabbage soup. This soup is a great option to keep vegan because even without the meat, it is still very hearty and filling.
Yes, to make Beef Cabbage Soup in a crockpot, first brown the beef completely. You can add the veggies in to saute as the beef is finishing browning. Then add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
More Favorite Soups!
If you made this recipe, I'd love to hear how you liked it! Be sure to leave a star rating by clicking the stars in the recipe card, or leave a comment below!
Beef Cabbage Soup
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- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 carrots diced (about 1½ cups)
- 2 ribs celery diced (about ½ cup)
- 15 baby red potatoes large dice (about 2 or 3 cups of any diced potatoes)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 grinds fresh black pepper
- ½ head napa cabbage sliced then chopped into bite sized pieces (about 6 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice (or a can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped)
- 15 oz can white beans drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty bread or saltines for serving
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
- When beef is almost browned, move it to the side of the pot and add the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and saute about 10 minutes more. Stir occasionally keeping the beef and vegetables separate (the fat from the beef should be enough not to add any oil, but add olive oil if needed, fat can also be drained if it's too much).
- When the beef is fully cooked and the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, add the cabbage and garlic and cook a few more minutes, stirring everything together.
- Add tomatoes, beans, stock, water and parsley and season again with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer soup about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Serve soup with shaved Parmesan (use a vegetable peeler), more chopped parsley to garnish, and crusty bread or saltine crackers.
- Vegetable Amounts Don't need to be Exact - A bit more or less of any of the veggies is fine. Love beans, add 2 cans. Any amount from ½ to a little over a pound of ground beef is ok, depending on how meaty you like it. Minor alterations are fine for this soup!
- Baby Red Potatoes do not need to be peeled. If using a larger baking potato, you may want to peel the tougher skin. Wash your veggies well, carrots don't need to be peeled either.
- Try to keep the ground beef on one half of the pot, separate from the veggies on the other half. This will keep the liquid from the veggies away from the beef, which will help it brown. Make sure the beef is fully cooked before adding the stock.