savoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soupsavoy cabbage & smoked sausage soup

What else would you eat in this freezing weather ? Something hot, something you can chew on but also slurp, something meaty (unless you’re vegetarian and you add beans instead) and served in a large bowl that you can wrap your hands around to warm them up ! It’s just a simple rustic vegetable soup with cabbage and smoked sausage.

Dark green savoy cabbage is lighter and less dense than a regular white or green cabbage and the textured leaves are pleasant and also much easier to peel off after plunging them in boiling salted water. You’ll discover that the leaves get paler and smaller and more tender, the closer you get to the core.

Unfortunately, I feel like you may have to make a dish of stuffed cabbage leaves first and then use the leftover smaller leaves close to the core, for this recipe, since the soup only requires about 6 cups of cabbage leaves and one whole savoy cabbage can easily provide up to 18 cups, but you’ll figure it out.

*note : cabbage leaves blanched 2 minutes in boiling water with 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tbsp of vinegar per liter of water, then patted dry and kept in the fridge in a colander or container without a lid, will keep for up to 1 week ...

The rest of the customary vegetable ingredients balance out the cabbage flavor, the sausage adds some smokiness and fat too and the cherry tomatoes, which are the only non-winter addition but are pretty much the only flavorful tomatoes available in winter, are added whole preferably, to add just enough acidity to lighten up the soup without clouding it and making it all red, like crushed tomatoes or purée would, but you could replace them with some lemon juice. It still a brothy soup with big pieces floating about and every spoonful is different. The spice mixture, to be ground into a powder, adds some more complex Mediterranean flavors and complements the cabbage as well as the sausage too.

I don’t have much else to say except that work has picked up quickly, despite the pandemic and it’s been one celebration after the other for the past weeks and life is good !

Take care & see you soon with another winter dish, maybe a vegetarian quiche ? … :)

savoy cabbage & smoked sausage soup


8 bowls x 500 grams each


  • 3 liters (12 cups) light vegetable broth (or water from blanching the cabbage)
  • 500 grams (6 cups) small savoy cabbage leaves, blanched in salt water, then sliced in ribbons
  • 185 grams (1 ½ cups) onion, sliced
  • 250 grams (2 cups) baby potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in half or quarters
  • optional : 188 grams (1 ½ cups) cherry tomatoes, whole (or an equal amount of crushed tomatoes)
  • 125 grams (1 cup) carrots, sliced
  • 62 grams (½ cup) celery, sliced
  • 250 grams (2 cups) smoked sausage, sliced
  • 75 ml (¼ cup + 1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 18 grams (1 ½ tbsp) garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 grams (1 tbsp) sea salt
  • 3 grams (¾ tsp) black peppercorns
  • 2 grams (½ tsp) cumin seeds
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) caraway seeds
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) fennel seeds
  • 1 gram (2 whole) bay leaves


  • *note : I use the smaller and more tender cabbage leaves from the center of a cabbage, which are the leftovers after making stuffed cabbage leaves, so they are already parboiled & ready but you can start from scratch and use only what you need …
  • dip and boil the separate cabbage leaves (or the whole cabbage with a fork planted in its core) in salted water or broth, for approximately 2-3 minutes or just enough time to soften and loosen the leaves, layer by layer and set aside and when cooled, slice into ribbons
  • slice all other vegetables ingredients, sausages and aromatic herbs and grind the spices together and set everything aside
  • add the olive oil, the dried ground spices and bay leaves to the casserole and simmer the first vegetables for 5 minutes at medium-high heat, starting with the potatoes and carrots and celery, then add the sausage slices, the onions and the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, then add all of the broth and/or cabbage water and bring to a boil, then add the whole cherry tomatoes and finally the cabbage ribbons and bring to a boil a second time, reduce heat immediately to medium-low and let simmer (with a lid) for 90 minutes, then add the fresh herbs and let cool down 5 minutes before serving
  • serve large bowls of soup with warm rustic bread or garlic bread.