Sweetheart Cabbage and Basil Soup

There are times when I seek simple, wholesome food. Perhaps it’s the weather (we’ve had a rainy spell here) or perhaps I’m slightly panicked by the fact that we’re officially in school holiday territory and my ‘uniform’ of black and baggy simply won’t do for much longer. Either way, my two favourite soups for this kind of mood are homemade chicken soup and this one, homemade Sweetheart Cabbage and Basil Soup.  Both are prescribed in very specific circumstances! 

Sweetheart cabbage is also known as ‘pointed cabbage’ and is pale green in colour. Really, any cabbage can be used for this soup.  Obviously, there is a very well-known cabbage soup diet – and no, I’m not on it. However, I do like cabbage (it is a requirement of being Polish) and this soup uses a whole assortment of seasonal ingredients – British Sweetheart cabbage (I adore the name), courgettes (Zucchini) and baby carrots. If you use fresh tomatoes, they would be in season too, perhaps even home grown. I always keep a pot of fresh basil growing on my kitchen window – so technically, that’s in season too. If you wanted to add extra substance, you could add a tin of organic chickpeas or perhaps butter beans.

You could also very easily give this soup a French makeover, by adding a tablespoon of fresh green pesto at the end, making it a more like a Soup au Pistou. It also tastes even better with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan over the top. Far from being reminiscent of over-boiled cabbage of school days, this soup is light, the cabbage has a ‘bite’ and it is strangely comforting.

It goes without saying, I’m adding the link to July’s round of Simple and in Season…don’t forget to add your seasonal recipes too.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to baking cakes for an end of term party. I also have a chocolate making course I attended to tell you about and a lovely baked blueberry cheesecake recipe to share…  

Sweetheart Cabbage & Basil Soup
Makes 8 servings


A few sprays or one tablespoon of olive oil
1 Large white onion, chopped
8 Baby carrots, chopped into small cubes
1 Sweetheart/Pointed cabbage, shredded
3 Courgettes/Zucchini, cubed 
1 Tin tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded
1 Tablespoon tomato puree
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock ( a cube made up is fine)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 Fresh basil leaves


1. Spray a large pan with olive oil spray or heat one tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Gently fry the chopped onions until they start to soften. Add your chopped carrots and cook for a further few minutes.

3. Add in the shredded cabbage and pour in the vegetable or chicken stock, add the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree. Make sure all the vegetables are covered with stock, if not, add some more liquid. Simmer for fifteen minutes.

4. Add in the cubed courgette/zucchini and cook for a further five minutes.

5. At the end, season with a twist of black pepper, a tablespoon of soy sauce and throw in a handful of basil leaves.  


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  4. janet @ the taste space says:

    >I am loving cabbage this summer as well! I am so curious about the sweetheart cabbage, though – I have never seen it before in Canada!

  5. mycustardpie.com says:

    >Like you, I adore cabbage. It's fantastic in soup and I'm saving this recipe to try when I'm back in my own kitchen. However, really would like a bowl now as I watch the rain from the window!

  6. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thank you both! I know what you mean about 'the diet' it would be enough to put you off for life, but this one is tasty and seasonal. Great if you have a veg box I should think.


  7. createwithmom says:

    >wonderful combination for a delicious soup

  8. >I just happen to have all the ingredients for this in my fridge, including the sweetheart cabbage! Although I am mentally scarred from the 'cabbage soup diet' you mentioned it was a long time ago and I have a holiday coming up so healthy, low fat food is what I need, this sounds ideal!

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