3 ratings

Cabbage Soup

The same ol' diet soup, punched up

If you're looking for a quick way to drop lbs., odds are you've heard of the cabbage soup diet, a crash diet that is meant to help you lose up to 10 pounds in one week. It's not a particularly advisable way to eat, but as it stands, a cabbage soup can be a budget-friendly, warming thing to eat as a healthy side with a salad or sandwich. Here, The Chicago Tribune's Pat Dailey takes the classic diet soup and jazzes it up with three internationally-inspired variations for more flavor.

This recipe by Pat Dailey originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune.



Mexican: To one-third of recipe, add one ancho chili (that has been soaked in hot water 15 minutes, stemmed, seeded and chopped), 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1 serrano or jalapeno chili, minced, and 1 1/2 cups roasted sweet corn kernels. Two to three cloves roasted garlic also can be added, if desired. Serve with salsa.

Provencal: To one-third of recipe, add a 15-ounce can drained navy or small white beans, 1/4 cup minced fresh basil, 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and 2 ripe tomatoes that have been seeded and diced.

Asian: To one-third of recipe, add 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 to 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, 1 small can sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, 1 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns or red pepper flakes and 1 cup bean sprouts.


  • 1 large head Savoy or green cabbage, chopped
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 12 Cups water


Step 1: Combine all ingredients in large pot; heat to a boil.

Step 2: Simmer gently until cabbage is tender, about 25 minutes