Winter Warming Cabbage and Bacon Soup

Here is my simplified recipe for savoy cabbage and bacon soup. This soup came about from an urge to abandon our menu plan one teenager-free-teatime in favour of a warming substantial soup (our boys don't quite get the joys of soup). I knew I had half a savoy cabbage loitering about (currently an Aldi's super 6 veg) but did I have any other ingredients that could magic a soup? Checking online I discovered savoy cabbage and bacon soup recipes aplenty but requiring streaky bacon, celery and leeks  - none of which I had. However, I did have ordinary back bacon (everyday value), a few carrot sticks, onions, potatoes plus some forgotten ham stock in the freezer left over from Christmas. 

Some cabbage and bacon soup recipes call for blending the ingredients before adding the cabbage to produce a thin soup - I made mine quicker and  easier by sautéing the cabbage with the other veg at the onset and keeping the consistency chunky. I experimented with cloves and bay leaves which I think added some depth. I also put the outer darker green leaves aside to fry with a few strips of bacon and garlic for an easy but cheffy garnish, but this is entirely optional.

So here's my winter warming soup using the classic combination of cabbage and bacon - simple, tasty and very satisfying. As long as you have onions, cabbage, ordinary bacon and some stock (chicken or veg) this recipe will work. Extra veg (leeks, carrots, potatoes) are optional. Potatoes bulk this soup out and adding more potatoes and stock would stretch this soup even further. After all frugality reigns in January!  

You will need

approx half a savoy cabbage shredded quite finely
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped or crushed
I carrot chopped
2 medium potatoes diced into small cubes
2 slices back bacon chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
3-4 cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock or ham stock (or use a combination of both as I did)


Gently fry the chopped veg (but not the potatoes) in the olive oil until softened. Add the bacon pieces and fry lightly. Add the stock together with the potatoes, cloves and bay leaves. Simmer for  10 -15 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Towards the end of the cooking time, in a separate pan, quickly fry the dark green cabbage with slices of bacon and a tiny amount of bacon until crisp. Ladle the chunky soup into a bowl adding a sprinkle of the dark green cabbage and bacon strips for garnish. 



  1. A great idea, especially for using up the ingredients you had. I do love frugal recipes. I know what you mean about boys and soup. Mine eat a few mouthfuls, but I do wish they'd try a bit harder.

  2. MMMMMM!!!! This looks lovely! Great idea to use what you had to hand and adapt as well. xx

  3. I love soup, anytime of the year. I always make up vege soup with a bacon hock in winter time. It is something my kids love eating so I load it with plenty of grated veges but keeping the potatoes chunky. I have savoy cabbage in my garden so will have a go at making it this weekend. Thank you xo

  4. I have just made this for our lunch and it's really lovely. I used smoked salmon trimmings instead of the bacon as I had some in the freezer. Thanks for the recipe and thanks for such an inspirational blog - I will certainly be following you as I too would like to simplify life.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth - so glad you could use my recipe and adapt it. Happy simplifying!

  5. Found your blog at the right time, got a cabbage left over from the aldi super six in the fridge and need to use it up. Now I know how! Thank you lots x


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