This rustic cabbage soup recipe is loaded with flavor with lots of tender cabbage simmered with ham hocks, fire roasted tomatoes, and warming spices.
Cabbage Soup Recipe with Ham
We're cooking up a big pot of delicious Cabbage Soup in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends! I know you'll want some of this!
This isn't your typical lackluster cabbage soup recipe for your cabbage soup diet, which can be rather bland.
This recipe is loaded up with flavor-building ingredients, including both bacon and ham, along with a nice blend of seasonings that will make you fall in love with every bite.
I've enjoyed cabbage in soups since I was a kid, but it never had any real flavor to it. My mother often served boiled cabbage with Polish sausage, but she didn't use many seasonings.
This is how I like to serve cabbage in soup form now that I make it on my own. Ham and cabbage soup just might be your new favorite!
Let's talk about how to make cabbage soup, shall we?
Cabbage Soup Ingredients
The full ingredients list with measurements is listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Vegetable Oil. For cooking.
- Ham Hocks. Use smoked ham as alternative. It's also great with leftover ham.
- Vegetables. Onion, bell pepper (or use jalapenos for spicier), celery, garlic, green cabbage.
- Seasonings. Paprika, dried oregano, dried basil, cayenne (optional, for spicy), salt and black pepper.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Canned is nice and convenient. Any diced tomatoes will do, though I love the flavor of fire roasted.
- Chicken Broth. Or you can use vegetable broth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Or you can use lemon juice.
- For Serving. Fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes.
How to Make Cabbage Soup - the Recipe Method
Cook the Bacon. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Bacon adds a nice level of flavor to the cabbage.
Brown the Ham Hocks and Vegetables. Add ham hocks, onion, peppers, and celery. Cook 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring, until you can smell the gorgeous garlic bloom. Delicious!
Spices and Cabbage. Add the chopped cabbage, paprika, oregano, basil, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook the mixture for 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted.
Tomatoes and Simmer. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, broth, and potatoes. Bring the entire pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until cabbage and potatoes are cooked to your preference.
Meaty Ham Hocks. Remove the ham hocks. Pick the meat from the bones and add to the soup pot. The ham hocks not only contribute flavor, but lots of meat, which is complimentary to the cabbage.
Skim any fat from the surface.
Taste and Adjust. Stir in apple cider vinegar and adjust for salt and pepper.
Serve into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.
Boom! Done! Your cabbage soup is ready to serve. Easy enough to make, isn't it? I think you're going to love this dish. Enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Slow Cooker Version. To make this recipe in a slow cooker, follow the recipe through step 4, then add everything to your slow cooker or crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours, or until the ham is cooked through and the cabbage is done to your liking.
- Other Ingredients. White beans or other beans are a popular addition to cabbage soup. Instead of potatoes, consider other root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, carrots, or rutabaga.
- Adjust the Spices. Try your favorite Cajun Seasonings or Creole Seasonings blend for additional flavor, or use your own blend to truly customize this recipe.
Storage & Leftovers
Leftover cabbage soup will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Simply reheat it on the stovetop in a pot to enjoy again.
You can also freeze it for 2-3 months.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my cabbage soup recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy my recipe for cabbage soup, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Cabbage Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound bacon chopped
- 1 pound ham hocks
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 8 cups cabbage about 2 pounds
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional, for spicy)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth use 6 cups for more brothy soup – you can use vegetable broth
- 1 pound potatoes peeled (if desired) and cubed
- 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or use lemon juice
- For Serving. Fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Add ham hocks, onion, peppers, and celery. Cook 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring, until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add cabbage, paprika, oregano, basil, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted.
- Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, broth, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until cabbage and potatoes are cooked to your preference.
- Remove the ham hocks. Pick the meat from the bones and add to the soup pot. Skim any fat from the surface.
- Stir in apple cider vinegar and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Serve into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and red pepper flakes.
Instead of potatoes, consider other root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, carrots, or rutabaga.
Try your favorite Cajun Seasonings or Creole Seasonings blend.