Asian-Inspired/ Healthy/ Soups and Stews

Asian-Inspired Cabbage Soup

Try out this nourishing and healthy Asian-inspired cabbage soup chockful of fresh vegetables with strong flavor cues from pho.


Cabbage soup gained popularity through the ‘cabbage soup diet’, a radical short-term weight loss diet through the consumption of low-calorie cabbage soup for a seven-day period.

While the diet was written off as a fad diet, cabbage soup as a natural diuretic is beneficial to the health outside the confines of a diet and should not be dismissed by mere association. So today, let’s make some Asian-inspired cabbage soup.

Asian Inspired Cabbage Soup

It’s a flavorful and healthy an easy savory vegetable soup to put together with cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, celery and fresh basil. Pair that with a lightly savory and sour broth flavored with onions and garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, soy sauce and fried shallots.

The cabbage soup is slightly improvised to add a flair of Asian flavors to the broth, inspired by both Vietnamese pho and Malaysian soto. It tasted great! The spices really work to bring a little something special to what is essentially a boring vegetable soup.

Asian Inspired Cabbage Soup

I’m pretty happy with this creation so if you ever find yourself in need of using up a whole head of cabbage or just want something different, try this healthy soup and see if it works for you.

Happy cooking and enjoy the soup! For another healthy soup, try out one-pot chicken noodle soup.

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Asian Inspired Cabbage Soup

Asian-Inspired Cabbage Soup

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Try out this nourishing and healthy Asian-inspired cabbage soup chockful of fresh vegetables with strong flavor cues from pho.


Units Scale
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes / 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • A handful of sweet/Thai basil leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar / 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cloves


  1. Over medium-high heat, pour the broth into a dutch oven or stockpot.
  2. Add cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves.
  3. Add in onions, garlic, cabbage, celery, carrots and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Don’t worry if there looks like there’s too much cabbage, it will boil down.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the cabbage is tender.
  5. Add vinegar in increments of 1 teaspoon, adjusting to your preference or skip this step if you prefer to use lime juice.
  6. Season with soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add basil leaves and simmer for 1 minute.
  8. Dish and serve hot with lime wedges and fried shallots.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins

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  • Reply
    February 3, 2021 at 9:42 PM

    Thanks for this. I took out the tomatoes since it gives me gerd/heartburn. Added a little bok choy, slices of ginger, and fish sauce. It was delicious. Thank you!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 5, 2021 at 11:24 AM

      Excellent additions. I’m happy to have given you a base to build on. Enjoy, Ruiza!

  • Reply
    Shaasvath Aishvarya S
    June 29, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    I had tried this and it came out awesome!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 5, 2021 at 11:23 AM

      That’s great to hear! Thanks for trying it out 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie LaSalle
    October 23, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    Can’t be vegetarian soup if chicken broth is used (some of the descriptive text around the recipe refers to it as vegetarian). Has vegetable broth been tried with equal success? Thanks! Great looking recipe!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 6, 2017 at 1:10 AM

      Oops! You caught me. This was one of my earlier recipes so I was a little less careful than I am now. I went ahead and fixed it. I should think you will do fine with vegetable broth as well. There’s plenty of flavor from the spices and sauces and in my opinion chicken broth’s flavor is only something to be built on as a base since it’s usually so bland.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    when do you add in the soy? i didn’t see that step listed above.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      You can add it during the seasoning step, I have fixed it accordingly. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Reply
    Navaneetham Krishnan
    October 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Posted something similar, just a different in a few ingredients. I love soups esp now that its rainy everyday. Love the addition of basil, growing lusciously in my garden for the scent.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 27, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      I really need to start my own herb garden one of these days! Once you go fresh, you can never go back.

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