Tomato soup with cabbage, potatoes and pork shoulder used to be my grandmother’s favorite soup. Whenever we came for a visit, she would cook the “Red Cabbage Soup” as she used to call it, for us. I have to admit there were times we wished she would cook something else, but it was hard to break the tradition 🙂
One way or another, eventually it has become one of my favorite soups too, I guess it has something to do with nostalgia or what 🙂 Fast forward a few years, I’m cooking this tomato cabbage soup for my own kids regularly and so far they do not complain too much.
The recipe is very easy to follow and it’s possible to modify it to your likings too. I know people who use pretty much the same recipe but they omit the meat, for example. Some use kale instead of cabbage etc… I would definitely advise to try the original recipe though, the somewhat fatty pieces of pork shoulder simply take it to another level.
But anyways, you’re here for the recipe and not my childhood stories, so let’s start cooking 🙂
List Of Ingredients:
1 medium sized head of cabbage
750g (1.5 pounds) pork shoulder
500g (1 pound) potatoes
1000g (2 pounds) tomato puree
1 large onion
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 litres (8-12 cups) water or stock
1 bouillon cube (if using water)
3-4 tsp sugar
3-4 tsp red paprika
1 tsp crushed caraway
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3-4 bay leaves
flat leaf parsley for garnish
How To Make Tomato Cabbage Soup:
Watch the video or scroll down for step-by-step instructions:
1. Whenever I cook this tomato soup with cabbage, I use a larger pot that is around 4 liters (4 quarts) big. Like any soup, it can be stored in the fridge for 3 days without any problems. Start by finely chopping a large yellow onion that you will sautee on vegetable oil, until translucent.
2. While the onion is sauteing, cut the meat into bite-size cubes. I’m using pork shoulder, but you can use a different cut as long as it’s not very lean and contains some fat.
3. Once the onions become translucent, add the meat into the pot and season properly with salt and black pepper. Stir fry the meat on the onion base for 20-25 minutes so it starts to release the juices and becomes somewhat soft.
4. We have enough time to prepare the cabbage now. Cut it into fine strips with a large knife or by using a shredder. The finer the cut, the quicker the cabbage will cook and it will also fit on the spoon better 🙂 Don’t forget to remove the core, it’s really hard and would take ages to cook through.
Did you buy shredded cabbage? Check this page to see how much shredded cabbage equals to a head.
5. The meat should be somewhat tender by now (not fully cooked) so we can move to the next step. This tomato cabbage soup has to be a bit sweet, so add 3-4 tsp of sugar, 3 tsp of sweet red paprika and 1 tsp of crushed caraway seeds. Mix everything properly and sautee for a few more minutes. Keep stirring from time to time so the paprika doesn’t burn.
5. Add the cabbage now. The pot will be almost full of it but don’t worry, it will lose a lot of it’s volume while cooking. Pour in 2-2.5 litres (8-10 cups) of water or stock. When using water, it’s a good idea to drop in a bouillon cube, to make the flavor more intense.
6. In with the tomato puree, I’ve used 1000g (2 pounds) which was just about right for this pot size. The puree is one of the most important ingredients of this tomato cabbage soup, so make sure to use a quality product. Add 3 or 4 bay leaves, cover the pot and keep simmering on low heat for about 30-45 minutes.
7. While we are waiting for the cabbage to cook and soften, let’s cut about 500g (1 pound) of potatoes into cubes. I’m using regular yellow potatoes, but feel free to use your favorite type.
8. Once the soup has been simmering for 30-45 minutes, it’s time to give it a taste. I had to add some more salt, black pepper and one more teaspoon of sugar (I’ve used 4 in total). To give the tomato cabbage soup a nice fragrant touch, add ½ tsp of ground cinnamon.
9. The cabbage should be somewhat soft by now too, so it’s time to add the potatoes as well. Mix everything once again, cover the pot and keep simmering until the potatoes are fully cooked. This should take an additional 30-45 minutes.
10. Once the potatoes are soft and fully cooked, our tomato soup with cabbage is ready. I like to serve it in a larger soup bowl, garnished with some finely chopped flat leaf parsley and a few slices of bread on the side.
Enjoy and let me know how you liked it in the comments! 🙂
Optional Tips For This Tomato Cabbage Soup:
- You can make a vegetarian version of this tomato cabbage soup. Just skip the meat and use vegetable stock.
- Turn this soup into a tomato-kale soup by replacing cabbage with kale.
- Chili flakes give this soup a nice spicy kick, try it if that’s your thing.
- Not a fan of pork shoulder? Use a different cut of meat, even beef works fine just adjust the cooking times accordingly.
- Don’t like potatoes in your soups? You can skip them and add some pasta at the end of the cooking process.
- Got some cabbage left? try to prepare this Lahana Syrian meat and rice cabbage rolls recipe from Sarah.
Tomato Soup With Cabbage And Pork Shoulder (Butt)
- 1 medium sized head of cabbage
- 750 g pork shoulder
- 500 g potatoes
- 1000 g tomato puree
- 1 large onion
- vegetable oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2-3 liters water or stock
- 1 bouillon cube if using water
- 3-4 tsp sugar
- 3-4 tsp red paprika
- 1 tsp crushed caraway
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3-4 bay leaves
- flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Finely chop a large yellow onion, then sautee on vegetable oil until translucent.
- Cut the pork shoulder into bite size chunks. Season with sald and black pepper and stir fry on the onion base for about 20-25 minutes.
- Add 3-4 tsp of sugar, 3 tsp of red paprika and 1 tsp of crushed caraway seeds. Sautee for 5 more minutes.
- In with the cabbage that you sliced into fine strips.
- Pour in the water or stock and add tomato puree. When using plain water, drop in a bouillon cube too. Add 3-4 bay leaves and simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes.
- Give the soup a taste and add salt, pepper or sugar if needed. To make the soup fragrant, add 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.
- Now is the time to add the diced potatoes too. I've used about 500g (1 pound).
- Once the potatoes are fully cooked, the soup is done and ready to serve.
- Serve the tomato cabbage soup in a soup bowl, garnished with flat leaf parsley and a few slices of bread on the side.