Cabbage, Potato, and (Vegan!) Sausage Soup - aka, "That Beige Soup"

I decided to start with a WaPo recipe for cabbage soup - - and make some modifications, discussed here: Modifying this Cabbage Soup Recipe

Ingredients as I made it:
Extra virgin olive oil
2 packs (eight sausages total) Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages (, plastic casings removed and the “inners” diced
2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled, and diced
1 head of garlic, cloves trimmed, peeled, and minced
2 medium green cabbages, cored, thinly slivered, roughly chopped
6 medium yellow potatoes (probably Yukon Golds) peeled and diced
Dried thyme (didn’t measure!)
Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base AND No Chicken Base
Fresh cracked black pepper

Sauté sausage in olive oil in large soup pot until browned; remove to bowl lined with paper towels reserving oil in pan.
Add more oil to pan, if needed, and toss in onions, garlic, and cabbage; stir over medium heat until onions soft and cabbage is wilted.
Add in dried thyme and stir.
Add diced potatoes to pot and add enough water to cover by an inch or two.
Add heaping spoonfuls of both types of Better than Bouillon; stir to incorporate.
Cover pot, reduce heat to low, allow to simmer - stirring occasionally - for about 30 minutes/until potatoes are soft.
Mash up some of the potatoes, stir in the reserved brown sausage, season with a LOT of fresh cracked pepper, and let simmer for a few more minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.

Overall I am pleased with the results, and will gladly make again, but there were things that could be improved:

  1. I’ll add another head of cabbage, as this was not nearly enough because it cooked down.
  2. I won’t serve first night made as - like so many soups - the flavor blossomed after a night in the fridge.
  3. I will serve with something “green” as a garnish ( it was so very, very beige!).

Also, would like some advice:

  • The soup was fairly sweet, due (I assume) to the long cooking of the cabbage and onions, plus the apple sausage; it needed something else to contrast with the sweetness, something acidic. I was thinking about apple cider vinegar, or … ?
  • I wanted a “nuttiness” for some reason; was contemplating diced toasted nuts as a garnish - was also wondering if a nutty flavor could be incorporated earlier in the process … ?
  • The beige! The only thing I can think of, at the moment, would be diced green onions, but I know there are other options, like gremolata (which could address the color issue, plus if made with toasted nuts, give that flavor and texture, too, but am unsure about the lemon zest). Ideas?

Photo of the beigeness, before mashing up the softened potatoes.


Nice!! That sounds like a very tasty easy meal!
I wonder if the apple from the sausage is giving it the “sweet” flavor… although if you have young small cabbages those can seem sweet
I wouldn’t use cider vinegar (also somewhat sweet), but something like a sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar sprinkled ontop when servng will give it a nice bright touch of acid.
If you want a nutty crunchy thing a sprinkle of pine nuts on the bowl would be great, i think some chopped toasted walnuts would work well here too. Probably more “bang for your buck” using ad a garnish than trying to add nutty flavor to the soup- it would have to compete with the strong flavors of the sausage and cabbage.
The beige certainly is… well yeah, not especially beautiful but if it’s delicious who cares??! Something like chopped chives, flat parsley, or chervil would be pretty and work with the flavors. Or if you had a bit of radicchio or red cabbage shredded superfine that would be attractive and balance the sweet.


I make the same soup but I use only 2 potatoes but add about a cup of cream or half and half and a aprox. a cup of blend cheese at the end. You can adjust to you likes.

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Updated recipe/ approach:

  • Onions, leeks, and shallots, or some variation adds extra flavor
  • Cauliflower is excellent - a whole small head, including the core, broken down into chunks
  • Definitely stick with the yellow potatoes, unpeeled, but adding a small russet helps bulk up the broth
  • Simmer until everything is softened, then refrigerate overnight
  • Purée chilled soup and then gently reheat while cooking the sausage
  • Field Roast Italian sausages - hand torn into chunks (more rough edges to crisp up when frying) and cooked/added after soup has been chilled overnight, puréed, and reheated are much better than the apple /sweeter sausages

Freezes and reheats very well.

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