Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 (16-ounce) package smoked Kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ears of corn, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small head green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


  1. Prepare the Sausage:
    • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
    • Add the sliced sausage and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Cook Vegetables:
    • In the same pot, add butter and melt over medium heat.
    • Add carrots, corn, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Combine Ingredients:
    • Stir in chopped cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt.
  4. Add Broth and Seasonings:
    • Pour in chicken broth and water. Stir in chicken bouillon cube, brown sugar, black pepper, caraway seeds (if using), and dried thyme.
  5. Simmer:
    • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Add Potatoes and Sausage:
    • Stir in the cubed potatoes and reserved browned sausage.
    • Continue to simmer uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and flavors are well blended.
  7. Finish with Cream:
    • Stir in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until heated through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Serve:
    • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives.

Here are secrets to achieve the perfect Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage:

  1. Choose Quality Sausage: Use a high-quality smoked sausage like Kielbasa for better flavor and texture.
  2. Brown the Sausage: Searing the sausage slices before adding them to the soup enhances their flavor and texture.
  3. Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for fresh vegetables like carrots, onions, and cabbage to ensure vibrant flavors.
  4. Balance Sweetness and Savory: Balance the flavors with a touch of brown sugar to complement the smokiness of the sausage.
  5. Add Aromatics: Saute onions and garlic in butter until fragrant to build a flavorful base for the soup.
  6. Layer Flavors: Add ingredients in stages to build layers of flavor throughout the cooking process.
  7. Simmer Slowly: Allow the soup to simmer gently to meld flavors together without overcooking the vegetables.
  8. Adjust Seasonings: Taste and adjust seasonings such as salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme to enhance the overall taste.
  9. Add Depth with Broth: Use chicken broth as a base for a richer flavor profile.
  10. Control Texture: Cut vegetables into uniform sizes for even cooking and appealing texture.
  11. Use Potatoes Wisely: Potatoes add body to the soup; cook them until just tender to avoid mushiness.
  12. Incorporate Herbs: Add dried thyme and caraway seeds (optional) for a subtle herbal undertone that complements the cabbage and sausage.
  13. Enhance Creaminess: Finish the soup with a splash of heavy cream for added richness and smoothness.
  14. Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives for a fresh contrast to the rich flavors.
  15. Adjust Sweetness: Adjust the amount of brown sugar based on personal preference and the sweetness of the sausage.
  16. Control Thickness: Adjust the amount of water or broth to achieve the desired soup consistency.
  17. Embrace Variations: Experiment with adding other vegetables like celery or bell peppers for additional flavors and textures.
  18. Prevent Overcooking: Add cabbage towards the end of cooking to retain its slight crunch and vibrant color.
  19. Let Flavors Develop: Allow the soup to rest for a while after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together.
  20. Serve with Bread: Pair the soup with crusty bread or rolls to soak up the delicious broth.

These secrets will help you achieve a perfectly balanced and flavorful Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage that is hearty, comforting, and delicious!

Popular Questions and Answers:

  1. Can I use a different type of sausage?
    • Yes, you can substitute smoked Kielbasa with other types of smoked sausage like Andouille or smoked turkey sausage.
  2. Can I make this soup ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the soup up until adding the cream. Cool the soup completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove, then add the cream just before serving.
  3. What can I serve with this soup?
    • It pairs well with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or a simple green salad.
  4. Can I freeze this soup?
    • It’s best to freeze the soup without the cream. Cool the soup completely, then freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove, then stir in the cream just before serving.
  5. How can I adjust the thickness of the soup?
    • If you prefer a thicker soup, add more potatoes or reduce the amount of water and broth. For a thinner consistency, add extra broth or water.
  6. Is this soup gluten-free?
    • The ingredients listed are typically gluten-free, but always check labels to ensure there are no hidden sources of gluten in the sausage or chicken broth.
  7. Can I omit the heavy cream?
    • Yes, you can omit the heavy cream for a lighter version of the soup. The soup will still be flavorful without it.
  8. What other seasonings can I add?
    • Feel free to add smoked paprika, bay leaves, or a dash of hot sauce for additional flavor.
  9. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store leftover soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  10. Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh corn on the cob?
    • Yes, you can substitute fresh corn with frozen corn kernels. Add them directly to the soup without thawing.
  11. Can I use other vegetables?
    • Yes, you can add other vegetables like celery or bell peppers for additional flavor and texture.
  12. Do I need to peel the potatoes?
    • Peeling the potatoes is recommended for a smoother texture, but you can leave the skins on if you prefer.
  13. How do I adjust the sweetness of the soup?
    • Adjust the amount of brown sugar to suit your taste. You can also omit it if you prefer a less sweet soup.
  14. Can I use beef broth instead of chicken broth?
    • Yes, you can substitute beef broth if you prefer a richer flavor.
  15. How do I prevent the cabbage from becoming mushy?
    • Cook the cabbage just until wilted to retain some texture. Overcooking can make it mushy.
  16. Can I use half-and-half instead of heavy cream?
    • Yes, you can use half-and-half for a lighter alternative to heavy cream.
  17. What is the best way to reheat the soup?
    • Reheat gently over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  18. How can I make this soup spicier?
    • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to spice up the soup.
  19. Can I add beans to this soup?
    • Yes, you can add drained and rinsed beans like cannellini or navy beans for added protein and texture.
  20. Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
    • Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the sausage and sauté the vegetables in a skillet first, then transfer everything to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients (except heavy cream). Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, then stir in the heavy cream just before serving.

Enjoy your hearty and flavorful Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage!