Purple Cabbage Soup – Cabbage Soup Recipe

Purple Cabbage Soup

I love Purple Cabbage for the colour and the crunch it adds to salads and coleslaw. I know that purple cabbages are often called red cabbages, but, they’re purple, right? So I call them purple cabbages. I somehow ended up with two massive purple cabbages (not because I forgot I already had one and bought another. Well, maybe…).  I had to figure out what to do with them, so I came up with this Purple Cabbage Soup. It’s pretty damn purple.

Purple Cabbage Soup (2 of 2)

I know, the colour looks a little strange for a soup. However, the vibrant colour lives up to the promise of an equally vibrant tasting soup. And this soup is an amazing taste experience. Fennel and cardamom spice up the sweetness of the cabbage, and give some warmth to the coconut milk base.

More Colourful = More Nutritious

I buy or grow produce according to colour if I have a choice. Because the more colourful the produce is, the more nutrient-dense it usually is. The gorgeous, vibrant colour of purple (or red) cabbage indicates the abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin A in the crunchy cruciferous cabbage. Bonus: purple cabbage has twice the amount of vitamin C as green cabbage.

Why Is Purple Cabbage Purple?

I knew it was nutritionally a healthier choice than green cabbage, but I was curious about how purple cabbage actually gets its lovely colour. According to Wikipedia, it all has to do with the PH value of the soil that the cabbage is grown in.  “In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, in neutral soils they will grow more purple, while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow coloured cabbages.”

Another Interesting Cabbage Fact:

Another interesting fact about the purple cabbage; its juice can be used as a PH indicator because it contains anthocyanin, a pigment that turns red, purple or blue, depending on the PH.

My forgetfulness at the farmer’s market led me to learn a few things I didn’t know about purple cabbage, as well as a very pretty, very healthy, and delicious soup.

If you want more purple (or red) cabbage, check out Quick Pickled Red Cabbage, or Slow Cooker Red Cabbage & Apples.

Purple Cabbage Soup


Purple Cabbage Soup

Purple Cabbage Soup

Purple Cabbage Soup is a creamy, delicious and healthy soup that tastes as good as it looks. 
4.47 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 180 kcal


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 garlic clove diced or crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed
  • 1 Tsp black cardamom seed crushed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock low sodium
  • 1 398 ml 14 oz can light coconut milk
  • 2 small potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a large pot on medium-low.
  • Add onion, celery, garlic, fennel and cardamom. Cook until vegetables are tender, but not browned.
  • Add stock. Scoop out the layer of coconut cream on the top of the coconut milk, and reserve for topping. Add the rest of the can to the pot. Bring everything to a boil
  • Add potatoes and cabbage. Stir, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let cook until cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and puree in the pot using an immersion blender, or let cool somewhat and puree in batches in a blender. Serve hot, in bowls, with a dollop of coconut cream on each. Enjoy.


Reduce the sodium content in this recipe by using no salt or reduced-salt vegetable stock.


Serving: 1gCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 720mgPotassium: 540mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1175IUVitamin C: 50.1mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 3.1mg
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26 thoughts on “Purple Cabbage Soup – Cabbage Soup Recipe

  1. This soup looks amazing. Being a Louisiana gal, I immediately thought of it as part of my Mardi Gras menu! It will be a wonderful surprise for guests!

  2. Made this soup for the family and me & my wife really liked it but the kids weren’t big fans even after convincing them it was unicorn soup.

  3. That is such a stunning colour for a soup! I think it might be in order as a part of our Easter meal – looks like spring! Thanks for the info on the soil pH. That explains a lot.

    1. Hi Margaret, yes! This will be first course for our family Easter dinner. The colour is perfect. I hope you love it because it’s absolutely yummy, besides being pretty. Let me know how it works out for you. 🙂

  4. Amazing and gorgeous! I can’t wait to make it for the little ones when they get home. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Colleen.

    1. Thanks Denise! I think they’ll love it because the colour attracts kids, but it also tastes silky and smooth, so they like the texture, too. But it’s a delicious soup for adults as well. Win Win! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    1. Hi Zahra, Thanks so much for visiting! I’m working on installing a nutrition label on they recipes. So I’ll try to update you on the calories. But this soup is pretty low cal, because the only thing adding much for calories is the coconut milk, which is shared out with all the servings. And you can use light coconut milk to lighten it even further. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. Colleen, I will totally try this and get back to you. The colour should be a hit with the kids and the nutritional value will score points with the naturopathic doctor in the house.

    1. Hi Edie, Apparently it’s been a big hit with kids from what I’m hearing! (A couple of adults have said they were grossed out by the colour, though, ha ha)

  6. What a gorgeous soup. I’m especially interested in the combination of black cardamom and fennel seed. I’d imagine that those play very well with the coconut milk.

  7. As a natural-ingredient baker, I’m always looking for more veggies and fruit with which I can naturally dye and flavour my food. I LOVE the colour of this soup so much! I’ll have to test out purple cabbage juice as a dye next! 🙂

  8. The colour of this soup is incredible! Great idea – I have never thought to make a cabbage soup with purple cabbage. The cardamom is a nice touch too, will have to try this next time I buy purple cabbage.

  9. I’ve never eaten a purple soup before…I’ve got to give this a try! I love purple cabbage and also add it to many of my dishes. I’ve added green cabbage to soups many times, but never once have I added the purple kind! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Kimberley, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t keep the vibrant colour after cooking, but luckily it was fine 🙂

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