Variations of The Cabbage Soup Recipe


A couple weeks ago I asked on my Facebook page what you wanted me to write about and I got some great responses!

So, here is my first post suggested by you!

The Soup

Obviously the biggest component of the Cabbage SOUP Diet is the soup itself!  I know the basic recipe is well…basic, to say the least, but it’s tried, tested, and it works.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t (literally) spice things up a bit right?

The following are a few recipes that add to the basic Cabbage Soup recipe or replace it entirely.

I’ll describe each a little bit so you know if that’s the right recipe for you.  Considering you’re going to need at least 2 batches this week, maybe you can try a batch each of something below.

Leave me notes in the comments! Let me know which you try, which you like…and of course, leave your own recipe if you’ve created one!

Excellent Additions – Italian Cabbage Soup:

Recipe: Add these to the basic recipe to spice up your palette.


3 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup chopped parsley
4 fresh oregano leaves, crushed or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
basil to season

Instructions: Follow the basic recipe instructions

Tip: Add as much garlic as you like! It’s good for the heart!

A Recipe Replacement – Italian Cabbage Soup Version 2:

Recipe: This is a recipe replacement.  Use this recipe in it’s entirety to make a big batch of soup.

1 bunch basil
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small cabbage or pointed cabbage
3 carrots
5 stalks celery
1 young fennel
spices, ground pepper
5 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
*The recipe originally calls for 5 cups stock but stock is not allowed with the soup.  Use water and add a single bouillon cube if you need to.


Add basil leaves, olive oil, and your favorite spices.  Mix them together, covering the leaves, and put the dish in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Remove and blend into a super fine mixture. Wash your veggies and cut them up while you’re waiting.  Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a big pot, then add your cabbage, carrots, celery and fennel.  Add 5 cups water and your optional cube.  Boil the whole thing for 5-7 minutes, remove from heat.  Add lemon juice, more spices, and place back on hot stove for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Tip: Make sure to remove it from heat before adding the lemon juice.

15 Minute Soup, quick and easy! Zucchini Cabbage Soup Recipe

Recipe: This recipe features zucchini and has a great texture to it.


½ medium head of cabbage, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
1 large clove of garlic, crushed and minced
¼ tsp dried basil
½ tsp black pepper
12 ounces of V-8 vegetable juice (Low Sodium!)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 boullion cube
1-2 cups chopped spinach
½ cup sliced carrots
Season to taste

Instructions: Mix all ingredients and cook with low heat for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

The Strictest recipe for the best results!  Military Diet Cabbage Soup

Recipe: Did you know weight problems affect our men and women in uniform, too?  This version, called the Military version, is very strict.  If you’re thin and using this diet as a detox, this is for you.

1 large head of cabbage
1 large bunch of celery
2 bunches of green onion
1 large can of whole tomatoes
1 bouillon cube
3 large bell peppers
Season to taste

Instructions: Chop all veggies, add them to a pot with enough water to cover.  Boil for 15 minutes.  Done!

For Curry Lovers!  Cabbage And Curry Soup Recipe:

Recipe: This recipe is not made using the regular soup recipe first, this is an entire recipe replacement!  It is more like a thick stew, yummy and filling.

Half a packet curry powder
Half a cabbage, cut into small pieces
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom
4 cloves
cauliflower, bite size pieces
tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic sliced
1 onion chopped

Spray pot with cooking oil.  Add the spices and fry them until they start to smell strongly (and soo good!).  Add your onions and garlic.  When the onion is soft (turns clear looking) then add water and stir.  Add in the veggies and cover with water.  Let the mixture reduce and the vegetables soften to your desired consistency, about 15 minutes or so.

Tip: Curry powder is a better choice than a paste!

For Protein lovers – Protein Filled Cabbage Soup

Recipe: If you are the type who suffers a headache from the soup, consider adding a bit of protein by adding beans.


1/2 head of Cabbage
4 cups water
1-15 oz cans black beans
2 cans of tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
bunch of cilantro** optional

Instructions: Put all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat for 30-60 minutes, until beans are soften to your liking.

More Recipes Please!

If you want new recipes that are good for your Cabbage week and beyond, check out Isabel De Los Rios and her Beyond Diet program now!

She is the Queen of healthy recipes, and believes in using whole grains, real food, and no artificial substitutes.

I love her recipes and I know you will, too.  If nothing else, check out her video for free information on healthy fats that you need to know.

Click Here <– Watch Isabel’s video now!

Please add more below if you have them!

Hope this helps spice up your week!


  • Preeti

    Hi Catherine, I want to reduce weight slowly. Will cabbage soup work if I take it everyday along with the regular food? Please suggest.

    • Zmadlingozi

      id also love to know

      • Yes, I suggest having it for dinner and not taking any carbs after 5pm or so.

        • Susan_grimes

          Catherine, tried your cabbage soup diet and it definitely worked, however went back to my old habits and gained the weight again. Tried the cabbage soup again but found it very difficult to do. Was wondering if you have a carrot soup recipen that would be as effective as the cabbage soup.

          • Bruno


            It is not that difficult to lose weight…I got started with Cabbage Diet for 2 weeks and then went back to eat boat load of fat food.. I build up energy to do in home cardio workout…I suggest you pick up POWER 90 workout routine. You eat high protein and high FIBER in your break fast and then healthy foods on your lunch and nothing after 6 pm…I do my workout a nightime 2 hours before I go to bed…I sleep like a child…I have been doing this for less that 2 months…I went from 221 to 193…

            Key to the success is I cut off WHEAT / HIGH CARBS/ BREADS/ PASTA…
            Plenty of water…When you drink water you speed up your metabolism you burn fat easily….

            Eat FISH and CHICKEN breast ALL BAKED with seasonings…Take High Does of Vitamin D3 with K2 every day to repair your bones…

            Please watch the Documentary in Hulu name FAT HEAD….

  • Ronin2626

    what does this soup do?

    • The Cabbage Soup Diet? It’s a one week cleanse program. The soup contains high fiber and super low calories.

      • sara

        hey catherine can i use green chilli,tomatos, garlic, and cabbage fo soup? does it work?

        • sara

          is it necessary to simmer down water?

        • Catherine

          Hi Sara,
          Yes you can certainly add those ingredients for great flavor! Yes it works if you follow the 7 day plan.

          • sara

            hi Catherine,
            i lost 2 kg of my weight. how can i do more wieght to lose and how can i maintain my weight. please tell me i don’t want to gain it back.

          • Catherine

            Hi Sara,
            Great job on the weight loss. You need to still eat healthy and keep eating veggies and try to stay away from processed foods as they really add on the weight. It’s okay to splurge once in awhile but since you did a week of “clean” eating why not keep some of those great habits like grilling or baking foods instead of frying them!! Count your calories and keep a journal – all that makes you aware of how much you are eating and know then it’s time to cut back! Hope your holidays are wonderful.

  • Kathryn Farrell

    Chili ginger parsley coriander garlic celeriac

  • JT

    Hi, I’m planning on starting the CSD and getting ready to go grocery shopping. On day one can I eat squash, zucchini and avocado? I’m guessing tomatoes are ok too since they’re in the soup?

    I’m thinking I may get sick of just straight sweet fruit…but I know avocados are fatty, and squash and zucchini are kinda starchy so I”m thinking maybe those are no’s…??

    • You should not have avocado this week unless you sub it in for meat on Days 5 and 6. Squash and Zucchinis should not be eaten this week

  • Naiyersultanakhilji


    hi there can i replace beef with chicken because i am not allowed to eat beef

  • Naiyersultanakhilji

    Hi Catherine 2 cans of tomatoes r in the recipe ,they r not easily available here how much fresh tomatoes I shall use instead of cans.

  • Indirarangarajan

    Hi Catherine, hats off 2 u for 7 days diet chart nd the different receipies. Am pure vegetarian, wat should i eat instead of beef? And can i include potato cut in to small cubes along with carrot, tomatoes, beans etc.? Also suggest other veggies that can be included to cabbage soup. Finally can be follow the cabbage soup during my periods. Pls reply.

    • Have tofu, beans, avocado, or another lean protein source. Do not have a potato except 1 on Day 2, don’t add it to your soup. You also should NOT use beans in the soup. You can follow the diet during your period but expect the weight to come off when your cycle is over

  • Susan

    Hi Catherine Would like to know if there is a carrot/onion based soup diet that would be as effective as the cabbage soup diet.


    • Probably not, the cabbage is the bloat burner

      • cestmwa

        It works with tomato soup too.

        • Catherine

          I haven’t tried that one but I know there are a lot of different types out there which helps since not everyone likes cabbage!! 🙁

      • Scarlett Andrews

        Uld you have boiled cabbage separately or perhaps replace with broccoli and cauliflower?

  • Sofwath Adnan

    hi Cat

    I’m fasting from 5am to 6pm. is it possible to take the CSD on my fasting days? Pls Suggest.

  • Attorney Williams

    Hi Catherine, i was wondering if there was any substitute for the skim and the yogurt?

    • Skim milk is the best option. Soy, almond, or rice milk are next. Plain greek yogurt is the least best substitute.

    • Attorney Williams

      Ok, my sister is doing the diet as well and she just put cabbage, celery and onions in her soup will the diet still work?

      • That is pretty bland.. The point is to eat as many fruits and veggies as you can this week and you also need the nutrients since the calories are already so low.

        • Attorney Williams

          Ok, what else can she put in her soup because she doesn’t like tomatoes, green peppers or garlic?

          • Basically the only things she should NOT use are beans, peas, corn, and no potatoes except for the one on Day 2

          • Attorney Williams

            OK so the way her soup is now fine and she will lose the weight?

          • Chethana

            I’m a vegetarian.. what are the substitutes for beef on day 6 and 7?

          • For days 5 and 6 instead of beef you can have tofu, tempeh, beans, or chickpeas or lentils of any kind or avocado or your favorite high protein source. Avoid premade items like veggie burger patties. Hope that helps.

  • Attorney Williams

    What exactly does the Military Cabbage Soup Diet do?

    • They all work the same, it’s just different recipes for the soup 🙂

  • Attorney Williams

    I was wondering would i still lose weight if i just eat the cabbage by itself?

    • No, you need the other items as well

      • Attorney Williams

        and y is that?

        • The soup is already so low cal and doesnt have all the vitamins, simple carbs, simple sugars, and nutrients that the body needs. Thats why you need a vitamin daily, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, and the soup. Plus, this isnt a starvation diet, it’s a cleanse and also a way to get more fresh, nutritious produce into your diet.

  • Julie

    Can I blend/purée the soup and have the same results? Does the fiber or nutritional value decline if I do that?

  • Lorraine

    Hi Catherine, my dtr is starting the CSD but is nursing a 4month old. She was asking if she should eat a little extra something??? Any thoughts?

  • eric

    I want to start his diet, what can I have for breakfast every day?

    • Connie

      Soup, soup, soup.

  • G

    Hi Catherine, I am on day 5 of the diet and have run out of soup, I want to make one of the other soup and like the sound of the bean one but I am confused you say in the posts below that you must not eat Zucchinis and beans but you have two different soups with both these ingredients. Please advise?

  • Kira

    Im a vegetarian but I do eat fish. On the meat days can I eat fish both those days? Also what about egg whites since thats a lean protein. I want to start the diet asap so your reply is greatly appreciated! =)

  • BRIE

    If I have a bagel and this soup all day for a week will I still loose weight? I’m constantly moving at work and need the carbs to fuel me

  • Beverly Skalski

    If I do the soup for breakfast and lunch and do a small dinner of choice, will I still lose some weight ???

  • Katrina Floyd

    Can you substitute the cabbage?

    • Lynn A

      Hi Katrina I ususally use brussel sprouts if the cabbage doesn’t look very good to purchase as a subsitute for cabbage in many things even cole-slaw!

  • Misa

    Instead of making cabbage soup can I make a cabbage coleslaw (vinegar base) with the same ingredients as the cabbage soup?

    • cestmwa

      I think the whole point is the healthy fluids. If you look at the concept of Volumetrics, soup works better than just plain water for filling you up.

      • Catherine

        Thank you – I agree it all plays on each other and it’s all healthy intake which makes it easier to not be going hungry like some diets.

  • Meahri

    I am a vegetarian. Should I eat steamed tofu or stir fried tofu ( lightly fried without oil)?

  • a_mo

    I keep trying to find someone that is wondering the same thing as me, but it amazes me when i find out nobody asked this question at least nobody I see. But my question is, can I add meat to my cabbage soup? I like cabbage soup with sausage in it. So can I use turkey sausage???

  • brench

    hello, can the military soup be put in the juicer instead of cooking it?

  • flo

    hi do you have to use cabbage cos i dont like it can i not just have celery soup instead?

  • Kathy Davis

    what vegetarian option can I replace the meat with?

  • omina

    hi can I use about a teaspoon of tomato paste? please awnser

  • Teresa

    I had a horrible time doin the CSD, Im a single mom and work two jobs, I added just a little bit of beans and a couple tablespoons of brown rice and for me it made all the difference and I am losing weight….

    • Connie

      That is great!. That extra protein is probably what you needed with your active lifestyle! Thanks for sharing with CSD staff!

    • jamie

      Its the extra carbs that your body need to fuel you and your brain you can lose weight eating carbs long as you are eating low fat. Fat makes you fat not carbs now high carb can slow down weight loss but it would take a lot of them. You can still lose weight eating wslf having a plate of 50% carbs and 50% veggies and green with no fats added.

  • AndiB

    I made the basic recipe adding a ton (atleast 6 gloves) of minced garlic and other spices like basil, parsley, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. No salt at all and it came out absolutely amazing. For spice lovers like myself, its hard to get sick of something with so much punch and flavor! The diet is working perfectly. Thanks for the variation suggestions b/c they inspired me to find what works for me without deterring too far from the original.

    • That is great! Thanks for sharing because a lot of people get frustrated with the blandness but your sounds delicious!!

  • Tara

    Hi Catherine,

    I want to make the cabbage and curry soup but there are no measurements listed for the ingredients. Can you tell me how much I should use of the spices?



    • I saw a cabbage and curry soup recipe and it called for 2 Tablespoons of curry. You might try 1 T first and then add as needed. It’s the same thing with all of the other spices you might add just start out with a teaspoon and then add as you need it. If you want a lot of spice in your soup then you would use larger amounts. Flavor it as you are cooking it. Just google cabbage soup and you will find the recipes. Ours is at this site but there are other variations out there. Thanks and good luck!

      • Tara

        Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly! I used the original recipe last week and actually came to enjoy the soup lol I’m looking forward to trying this variation 🙂

        • Glad it turned out well for you! I haven’t cooked much with curry so I need to be more daring I guess! Tis the time of year for hot soup!! Have a great day!

    • Amandakmac

      So, I did kind of a Thai version of the soup. It was very tasty. I used some of a head of cabbage, 2 carrots,1 onion,2-3 celery stalks, most of a red pepper, 2 roma tomatoes diced up then added a cube of chicken bouillon, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tbsp chopped lemon grass, 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of chili powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, juice of one lime, a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick. I also added a very small amount of fish sauce (less than 1 tbsp). Of course I add enough water that it makes sense and simmer it for about 30 min. I just used a medium sized saucepan to make enough for 2 or three days. It really had a nice Thai flavor with the spices and lemon grass; it had a little kick from the cayenne and a hint of sour with the lime juice. Before eating it I put some fresh cilantro on top.

      • Catherine

        Thanks so much for sharing that recipe it sounds really good! I will have to try that!

  • Jo-Anne Hammond-Sangwine

    two questions…another recipe i saw said it was ok to use salt reduced stock, is that ok? Also, can i add turnip to my soup?

    • Catherine

      Hi Jo-Anne,
      Yes you can use salt reduced stock or cubes. I think it would be fine to add some turnip to your soup. It would make it more flavorful.

  • Maanu

    I was wondering if you can replace the v8 juice with water and the spinach with cauliflower & the no carrots?

  • TONI

    oh those are some good recipes! I have another one to add to the mix! I do have a question though. How do I puree the soup? How much of the broth should I take out?

    Mexican style cabbage soup

    Just add jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, and hot sauce to the pot!

    • That sounds really good! Thank you! You can puree the soup in a blender or mixer if you don’t have a blender. It depends on how thick you want the puree take out of few cups and you can always add it back in.

  • Julia

    Can I use wombok (Chinese cabbage) instead of regular cabbage in the soup?

  • Sophie

    Hi Catherine, I made cabbage soup using a whole cabbage , 1 whole onion, 6 medium tomatoes and vegetable soup mix, does this still count in the diet? Please say yes!

    • Hi Sophie,
      As long as there weren’t any noodles in it or tons of sodium it should be fine. Fresh is always better though!! Thanks,

  • ash

    Hi cat
    Can v replace cabbage soup.with porridge in skimmed milk.without sugar as i took the soup n.couldnt eat.n.had horrible head ache

    • Hi Ash,
      It wouldn’t be the cabbage soup diet so I’m not sure if it would work or not! Sorry!!

  • corinna

    can i substitute the v8 with chicken broth

    • Catherine

      Yes as long as it is lowfat, low sodium broth. Or you can skip the V8 completely.

  • JCee

    I’m 22 yrs old &&d trying the cabbage soup diet for the first time but my fitness instructor is telling me not to cut all the protein out of my diet what should I do &&d am I allowed to used seasonings on the fruit or any dressings on the salads

    • Catherine

      Hi JCee,
      You still get protein on day 5 and day 6. I am sure your fitness instructor is worried about you getting weak or losing muscle mass. If you get weak or light headed then eat some hard boiled eggs or nuts for protein. Thanks!

      • Sandy

        There’s also protein in brown rice on day 7. 🙂

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  • FlyAssGMa

    Will it work if I only use Cabbage, Carrots & a little bit of onions????

    • Catherine

      It will work but it certainly won’t taste as good or be as filling unless you double up on the cabbage and carrots! Good luck!

  • dina moez

    can I have sausages or eggs for breakfast in the meat day

    • Catherine

      You can only have eggs if you don’t have meat. Sausage is really greasy and fattening so unless you do turkey sausage I would say no!!

  • BBanti

    Hi Catherine,
    I have unknowingly(before learning about the actual quantities) blended about 8 cloves of garlic and 2 green chillies with the whole pot of cabbage-soup….now it has become a bit more spicy. Will the garlic content affect the stomach?? Besides,I sprinkled cinnamon powder,black pepper powder,roasted-ground cumin seeds(all in small quantities) and a bit of salt, just to liven up the blandness.. Can u help!!

    • Catherine

      If you are use to garlic you should be okay it’s just going to taste really strong and will stay on your breath!! You can dilute with more water or chicken stock if necessary.

  • Kdub

    I added a bit of ground chicken for protein, some tomato paste, lots of chilli powder, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar, dash of worshester sauce and some dried chilli flakes to the original recipe and its excellent with flavour and a kick. Is there anything in here that will throw off the diet in a big way…. This is my first time doing the diet and only on day 1

    • Catherine

      The vinegar has sugar in it and the Worcestershire sauce does also along with sugar and molasses. So that’s not good for the diet depending on how much you put in!! Sounds delicious though!!

      • Kdub

        Thanks for the quick response Catherine and for the resources you’ve put together…. Very helpful

  • Josephine

    Is it okay to blend the soup?

    • Catherine

      Yes it is and a lot of people prefer it that way! Enjoy!

  • Sammie

    what would you recommend for a tomato hater? lol tho i know this soup works, it tastes like death! V8 juice has got to be one of the most foul tasting things ever and i cant handle the taste what so ever 🙁

    • Catherine

      You can leave out the V8 juice and tomatoes if need be. On day 5 you can have red peppers or grapefruit instead of tomatoes. Add other veggies to the soup that you like to make it taste good in your opinion. If you like mushrooms add two containers or more carrots and celery. Some put spinach in their soup. Have fun with it!!

  • Hash

    hey cat
    is it ok to add some spices into the soup, like cumin seeds, pepper, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric powder & coriander powder?

    • Catherine

      Absolutely! The more seasonings the better it will taste as my Dad use to say!! Experiment away!

  • Jon oldham

    I replace the soup completely and have stir-fry’s, I don’t like soup. I only do 4 days and lose 5/6 pounds. Sometimes I do exercise, like this time I’m on day 3 and I’ve lost 5 pounds, walking about 6 miles a day. I do have alcohol at night. It works for me. Just make sure you have onions and cabbage in your stirfry. I’ve tred to do a veg chilli this time as well, I’d give you the recipe but I just added chilli spices to cooked veg and added a jar of passarta. Hope that gives people a bit of inspiratio.

    • Catherine

      Glad to hear your version and that you lost weight as well. That’s the key making it work for you. Did you mean passata? If so, that sounds really good. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  • Lynda

    I am allergic ?

    • Lynda

      Can you substitue onion or just leave it out? I am allergic to onion.

      • Cathy

        Yes leave it out!!!

  • Ruapeper

    For a salad, are you allowed to add lemon/lime juice? What about olive oil?

    • Catherine

      Yes lemon/lime juice is fine. If you cannot stomach the salad without some oil then just use a tad bit of oil!!

  • Becky-lou Newland

    HI Catherine Im on the last day of my detox and have lost 5 kilos 🙂 I want to make up another batch now, can I add broccoli stems to the soup? Thanks

    • Catherine

      Yes that would be fine and congrats!!

  • Regular Joe

    I have found that a little lemon juice and regular white vinegar (like we put in coleslaw) gives the soup a little pizzazz!

    • That sounds good. Don’t over use the white vinegar but a splash here and there won’t hurt anything. It’s all about making it taste good and eating it so good for you!! Keep going!!

  • Lisa Obrien

    Can I use turnips and parsnips in my soup?

    • Catherine

      Hi Lisa,
      I would use either one in moderations. The turnip is actually lower in calories 36 to a cup. A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.

      This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese. A cup of parsnips has 100 calories.
      Thanks and best of luck on your 7 Day plan!!

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  • Megan Billings

    I love the Italian cabbage soup!!! Packs tons of flavor and I love basil!!!!

  • Linda Ulmer

    I hate bell peppers. Can I omit them in the soup?

    • Catherine

      Absolutely! I prefer red bell peppers myself but yes you can omit them!