Cabbage Split Pea Soup: A True Winter Comfort Food

by Jennifer on December 28, 2010

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The random moments in life. Aren’t they magnificent? We had been home bound for three day: Christmas Day was full of family, gifts, food and fun then came two days of a blizzard but by late Monday afternoon the snow had ceased. We were around the kitchen table making crafts and my husband stated ‘ I like Cabbage Soup’.  My first thought was ‘Where did that come from?’

So the questioning began: ‘What did you say?’, ‘What made you think of that?’, and then statements such as ‘I did not know you liked cabbage’ and ‘I have not had cabbage since I was 8’ and so on. Then it hit me and I said ‘Let’s plow the van through the snow and go buy the ingredients for cabbage soup.

My husband thought it was nuts, the kids wanted nothing to do with bundling up but dang it, we were going to nourish our bodies with some cabbage soup. The trip was uneventful but I knew getting back up the driveway would put the freak in the family so as we approached the house I said ‘Ready for an adventure family? Mommy is going to get us up that driveway (we do not have a snowplow and thanks to the blowing wind, there was no point in shoveling)!’  I threw the van into low gear and drove that behemoth of metal up the gentle slope and right into the garage. Then I looked to my husband and said ‘That is how you drive in the snow’.

Oh my, I got a bit off the topic of cabbage soup but heck, the winter weather story should have you ready for some hearty soup. This recipe is especially meaningful to my husband as he made it with me last night while sharing memories of making cabbage soup with his Portuguese mama.  We did not bother to call and ask her how much she uses of anything as she (as with the culture it seems) cooks from the heart and just goes for it.  No need to bother with some silly recipe card.

1 cup dried split green peas (you can use yellow if you prefer)
7 cups of water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 russet potatoes, roughly chopped
salt and ground pepper
1/2 head cabbage (green, red or savoy) chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 7 cups)


1. Pour peas and seven cups of water in large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes.

2. In a skillet heat 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Then add the garlic and cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring often.

3. To the onions and garlic, add the celery and carrots and cook another 5-10 minutes, stirring often.

4. To the peas, add the potatoes and continue to boil another 10 minutes. Then add the onion mixture to the pot containing the peas and add 4 cups of broth and bring to temperature.

5. Blend the ingredients using an immersion blender. Add the cabbage to the pot and allow to cook over medium heat, for 15 minutes or so until the cabbage is wilted.

Serve and then fell your soul fill with warmth (and thank you for the fiber)

Tracey@Tangled Noodle December 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I love the story behind this soup and how one thing led to another! Kudos for braving the weather and making it up the driveway; this would’ve been tasty on its own but that extra bit of effort and winter adventure added a nice dash of flavor. And I love those darling lidded bowls!!

Hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season. 😎

Jennifer December 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Hi Tracey – how is the new place and settling in? Did the boat arrive yet? The bowls are from Pier 1 (love!)

Shaina December 28, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Sounds delightful, Jen. I grew up with my Slavic grandma just cooking from the heart, so I can definitely relate.

Shelby December 29, 2010 at 5:48 am

LOL, love the van story….I myself hate to drive in the snow and am really uptight when I have to drive or ride in it! The soup sounds awesome, we love cabbage here and I’m planning to get some when I go shopping again myself!

Jennifer December 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

Hi Shelby – luckily the roads were much better than the driveway.

Jennifer December 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

You should have seen the look Dom gave me when I said ‘Why don’t you call your Mom and ask her how many Potatoes she used?’ He said. she would think I was nuts!

Jeanette December 29, 2010 at 9:21 am

This looks like a hearty soup, perfect for a cold snowy day.

Cajun Chef Ryan December 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

So glad to hear you made the culinary trek and adventure a success. This is a perfect soup of warming nutrition for a stay at home winter weather event.

Bon appetit!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food December 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

Great story, Jennifer, and such a scrumptious soup too! I would have never thought of pairing split peas and cabbage, but why the heck not? I can’t wait to make this as soon as we finish our traditional New Year’s black-eyed pea, collard greens, and ham hock soup.

Jeff Deasy December 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

What a wonderful twist on classic pea soup for warming up on a wintry day!

marla December 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

You had success in making this healthy soup pretty by serving it in that pretty red cassoulet. My kinda soup girl! xo

Maria December 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I will be trying this one!

miri December 30, 2010 at 1:20 am

looks awesome!

why did you split the cooking into 2 pots? is there any reason putting it all in one pot won’t work?

Jennifer December 30, 2010 at 8:07 am

Hi Miri – the dried peas take about 30 minutes to cook and we wanted to soften the onions and garlic first hence, two separate pots. Plus, this was the first time we made so I worked one pot while my husband did the other. Have you done it in one? Please share as I would love to wash fewer dishes. 😉

Geraldine January 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I just made this, and it took me less than a half hour, and it was delicious! I added some nutmeg and bay leaves to it, but otherwise I followed everything exactly, and the proportions were perfect! What a great healthy and tasty meal!


zerrin January 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I enjoyed reading the story. It started to snow here today, so this soup sounds like a great choice for me. I must go buy a cabbage before the snow piles up:) I love the flavors in it and believe me I love its color, too. Never made cabbage soup before, so I will definitely try it.

Jennifer January 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for coming by – It is truly a great soup and the 4 year requested it yesterday so my husband made a huge batch and froze a bunch of it

Jennifer January 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Love the addition of nutmeg and bay leaf and thank you for sharing your opinion

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