This red cabbage soup with apples and bratwurst makes for one delicious pot of soup! A new take on traditional cabbage soup recipes - you will LOVE the balanced combination of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors from the bratwurst, apples, seasoning, broth, and cabbage.
You'll ❤️ This Cabbage Soup Recipe
Want more red cabbage recipes? Be sure make Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts, this wonderful Roasted Red Cabbage Recipe, or even this sweet and tangy pickled red cabbage.
"I think even cabbage haters will like this red cabbage soup! There is so much flavor from the bratwurst then the apples and cabbage lend sweetness. It's really good!"
This recipe has everything you love in soup! It is sweet, tangy, salty, and has lots of great textures as well, keeping it interesting but mostly...delicious!
This soup has minimal cutting ahead of time and is made in an hour. Plus, everything is made in one large soup pot, so fewer dishes for me means I love it even more!
This soup is gluten-free, low-carb, and low-calorie per serving. Some small adjustments and variations can be made to make it even healthier and vegetarian. Check out the Variations section below for ideas!
🥘 What You'll Need
Here are the ingredients you will need to make red cabbage soup:
Bratwurst - If you can't find it ground, buy the sausage with skin on. Slice the skin lengthwise and pull it off. Crumble the brats as it cooks in the pot.
Olive Oil - substitute with your preferred oil.
Onion - any onion of your choice. I suggest white, yellow, or sweet onions.
Shredded Red Cabbage - Also called purple cabbage, this will cook and soften in the soup but will still add a great texture as well! Why is it called red cabbage when it's purple cabbage? 🙂 My guess is that after it cooks it turns red?
Granny Smith Apples - this apple variety adds sweetness and tartness to the soup.
Chicken Broth - substitute vegetable stock if preferred. Also, choose if you want reduced sodium, low fat, or fat-free.
Red Wine Vinegar - I prefer red wine in this recipe, but apple cider vinegar can also be used.
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Brown Sugar - use regular or a brown sugar substitute if preferred.
Ground Black Pepper - you can also use freshly ground black pepper for a brighter pepper flavor.
Optional for Serving: sour cream, cooked and crumbled bacon.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
🔪 How To Make It
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making red cabbage soup:
Brown Sausage and Onion
Preheat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add bratwurst and onions. Crumble the sausages as it cooks.
Saute until the bratwurst is cooked, the onions are soft, and you've achieved some browning.
Add Apples and Cabbage
Add apples and cabbage. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add Remaining Ingredients
Add chicken broth, vinegar, and Worcestershire.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Add diced tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and cover.
Simmer and Serve
Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add any additional seasonings to taste.
Add garnishes to each bowl of soup, and enjoy!
🥗 How To Serve It
Here are a few ways to serve red cabbage soup:
Garnish with sour cream and crumbled cooked bacon. You can also add some fresh herbs such as parsley, dill or basil. Top with some fresh sliced green onion.
Make it vegan - the bratwurst can be replaced with a plant-based alternative or omit it from the recipe. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and make sure your Worcestershire sauce is vegan.
Serve with a nice fresh slice of french bread or your favorite crusty bread and butter.
Here are a few ways you can customize this red cabbage soup:
- Use green cabbage instead of purple cabbage.
- Add some peppers to your soup to add a little kick, such as jalapeno, serrano, or poblano.
- Substitute anything in this recipe with your preference, such as oil, broth, seasonings, or amounts.
- Use ground pork, chicken, or Italian sausage instead of traditional bratwurst.
💭 Top Tips
- Feel free to double the recipe for larger gatherings. Remember to double all ingredients.
- Make it ahead of time and easily reheat it on the stove for future leftovers!
- For ease, place all of the ingredients into a slow cooker. Set it to low and let the flavors marry throughout the day.
How To Store
Cool your soup uncovered first, then seal it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How To Reheat
Place your soup into a small sauce or stick pot and bring to a boil on medium heat.
How To Freeze
Fully cool your soup and place it into an airtight container. Freeze for up to 4 months
Eating red cabbage raw brings the most nutritional value but is still high in nutrients when cooked. Red cabbage is utilized in many dishes, including soups, stews, and salads. It may be sautéed, fermented into sauerkraut, or steamed.
Bratwurst is a type of sausage, but sausages are made with many different types of ground meats, giving them different tastes and flavors. Bratwurst is typically made with ground pork or veal.
Bratwurst is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it a go-to for keto and low-carb diets. One link can contain up to 12 grams of protein with as little as 2 grams of carbs.
✔️ More Soup Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious soup recipes, check these out:
- Broccoli Cheese Soup with Beer & Brats
- Pizza Soup Recipe
- Beef Taco Soup
- Crockpot Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup
- Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Soup
- Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe
Apple, Bratwurst, and Red Cabbage Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 16 to 19 ounce package of bratwursts (skins removed and sausage crumbled)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 6 cups shredded red cabbage
- 2 cups granny smith apples (about 2 apples - peeled, cored, and diced)
- 7 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons worcestershire
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (a sugar substitute can also be used)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional for serving: sour cream, cooked and crumbled bacon
- Preheat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add bratwurst and onions. Crumble bratwurst as it cooks. Saute until the bratwurst is cooked and you have achieved some browning.
- Add apples and cabbage. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, red wine vinegar, and worcestershire. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Add diced tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cover,
- Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Use pork sausage, turkey or chicken bratwurst if desired.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Garnish with sour cream and crumbled cooked bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
© 2023 Seeking Good Eats™
Got a purple cabbage and an onion in my CSA last week & had some bratwurst and homemade vegetable stock in my freezer, so I made this soup today. I like my soup on the thicker side, so I used 4 cups of stock. It was really good! Can’t wait to share with my German family.
Awww, thank you for trying the recipe. So happy you loved the soup. That worked out perfect with the ingredients! 🙂 If it can pass muster with your German family you know it's good! lol