If you love cabbage soup, you know that it can be a bit bland.
That’s where adding flavor comes in!
There are lots of options for adding flavor to cabbage soup, from using different types of meat to adding in herbs and spices.
Some of these additions may surprise you – like adding bacon or chiles – but they all make a delicious and hearty bowl of soup.
So whether you’re looking for something simple like salt or something more complicated like red pepper flakes, you’ll find the perfect addition to your next batch of cabbage soup.
What to Add to Cabbage Soup for Flavor?
There are many options for what to add to cabbage soup for flavor. You can add meats, such as sausage, beef, or chicken. You can also add vegetables, such as carrots, celery, or onions. You can also add spices, such as salt, pepper, garlic, or thyme. Finally, you can add a variety of liquids, such as water, broth, or wine.
Still looking for options?
Here are 15 of the most popular ways to add flavor to cabbage soup, from simple to complex:
When it comes to flavoring cabbage soup, adding chopped onions is a great way to amp up the flavor.
Not only do they add sweetness and onion flavor, but they also help thicken the soup.
Plus, they’re low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them a nutritional powerhouse.
Adding carrots to your cabbage soup will give it a bit of sweetness and a touch of crunch.
The sweetness comes from the carrots and the crunch comes from the celery which is chopped up and added in.
Adding fresh celery to your cabbage soup will add a beautiful sweetness and crunch to the dish.
Celery is low in calories and high in fiber, so it’ll help to keep you full while satisfying your taste buds.
You can either chop the celery into small pieces and add it during the last few minutes of cooking, or you can use a vegetable peeler to shave it into thin strips and add it towards the end of cooking.
Tomatoes are the perfect addition to cabbage soup for a little extra flavor.
Not only do they add sweetness and a touch of acidity, but their lycopene gives the soup a red hue.
If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, adding in some diced potatoes or even carrots will also work well.
Just be sure to add them towards the end of cooking so they don’t turn into mush.
5. Garlic Cloves
When it comes to cabbage soup, cloves are the key to unlocking its flavor.
Not only do they add a subtle but unmistakable garlic flavor, but they also help thicken and enrich the soup.
Simply chop up a few cloves and add them to the pot along with some chicken or vegetable stock.
Let them simmer until they’re tender before serving.
6. Fresh Parsley
Adding fresh parsley to cabbage soup will give it a bright, refreshing flavor that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Start by chopping the parsley and adding it to a pot of boiling water.
Let it steep for about 10 minutes before adding it to your soup.
This will help extract the most flavor from the parsley.
7. Dried Parsley
Dried parsley is a great addition to cabbage soup for both flavor and health benefits.
The herb has a strong, pungent flavor that pairs well with the softened cabbage and stock.
When adding dried parsley to your soup, start by grinding it up with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor.
This will make the herb more evenly distributed throughout the soup.
8. Dried Thyme
Adding a little dried thyme to your cabbage soup will add a nice depth of flavor.
You can either add it at the beginning of cooking, or once the soup has simmered for a bit.
Leave it in until the end to ensure that all the flavors have melded together.
9. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves have a way of adding depth of flavor to any soup or stew.
The subtle, woodsy-herbal flavor pairs perfectly with cabbage and other hearty vegetables.
To add bay leaves to your soup, simply drop them in at the end of cooking time.
They’ll absorb the flavors of the soup and give it a great taste.
10. Tomato Paste
Remember, tomato paste has quite a strong flavor, so use it sparingly.
Start by adding a teaspoon or so to the soup when you start cooking it, and then simmer until the tomato paste has cooked down.
You can also add it in at the end of cooking to give it a richer flavor.
Another way to add tomato paste to your soup is to mix it into a roux before adding it to the pot.
This will help thicken the soup without adding too much flavor.
11. Beef Bouillon Cube or Cubes of Any Kind
With so many different cubes to choose from, it can be tough to figure out which one will give your cabbage soup the flavor you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure what type of beef bouillon cube to get, I would recommend opting for a cube that is made with beef.
This will add a hearty, savory flavor to your soup.
12. Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
When it comes to adding flavor to cabbage soup, rice vinegar or white wine vinegar are some of your best options.
Both vinegars have a slightly acidic taste that pairs well with the bitterness of the cabbage and other vegetables.
If you’re using rice vinegar, add it right before serving; if you’re using white wine vinegar, add it right before serving and let it simmer for a few minutes to marry the flavors.
13. Coconut Milk
If you like exotic flavors in your food, adding coconut milk to your cabbage soup is a great way to do that.
Coconut milk has a slightly sweet flavor and pairs perfectly with the slightly bitter cabbage.
You can find canned coconut milk in most grocery stores, or you can make your own by using full-fat canned coconut milk and adding more sugar or sweetener to taste.
- To add the coconut milk, simply heat the soup on medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer.
- Then whisk in the coconut milk until it’s fully incorporated. Be careful not to let it boil or you will curdle the soup.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of salt and some chopped green onions for extra flavor.
14. Coconut Aminos or Tamari Soy Sauce
Here’s an interesting option, particularly if you’re looking for something a little more flavorful than just salt and pepper.
Try adding a tablespoon of either coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce to the soup before serving.
Not only will this give your cabbage soup a nice depth of flavor, but it’s also a great way to cut down on sodium intake.
Coconut aminos are made from coconuts and are a vegan-friendly option, while tamari soy sauce is made from soybeans and is gluten-free.
15. Red Pepper Flakes
If you like some heat in your cabbage soup, adding a handful of red pepper flakes can do the trick.
These little buggers are packed with flavor and will lend a nice kick to your bowl.
Just be sure to start with a small amount and add more as needed; you don’t want it to be too spicy for your taste.
Another way to add heat to your soup is to use hot sauce or chili powder.
Be very careful with these two ingredients as they can easily overpower other flavors in the soup.
What to Add to Cabbage Soup for Flavor (15 Options)
- Garlic Cloves
- Fresh Parsley
- Dried Parsley
- Dried Thyme
- Bay Leaves
- Tomato Paste
- Beef Bouillon Cube or Cubes of Any Kind
- Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Aminos or Tamari Soy Sauce
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Pick your favorite ingredient from this list to add to your cabbage soup.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Enjoy in no time!