Spicy Cabbage & Tomato Soup

This inexpensive and filling soup is planet-friendly, as cabbages require a relatively small amount of water to grow. The basic recipe was used to nourish thousands of Central Europeans during World War II. Meat bones might also have been added when they were available, to intensify the flavour. You can use bacon chips, if you prefer, as these are healthier for your body and better for the planet being made from soy.


  • ½ large cabbage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ red capsicum, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Massel stock cubes
  • 1 TBSP imitation bacon chips
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 TBSP Hungarian paprika
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • Crushed pepper, optional


  1. Pull off the outer leaves from the cabbage, which may be dirty. Cut the piece in halves again and slice these coarsely into 1 cm thick strips. Place the cabbage strips into a large pot.
  2. Boil water in a large kettle and pour this over the cabbage until it is well covered. You may need to boil the kettle twice so you have enough water. Cover the pot with a lid and leave the cabbage to sit for about five minutes until it softens. Drain. Note - this step is included to help you remove some of the pesticides found on conventionally grown cabbage, which is sprayed frequently as the outer leaves grow. If you can source an organic variety, simply wash the shredded cabbage and continue immediately with step 3.
  3. Add the onion, capsicum, stock cubes, bacon chips, chilli flakes and 2 litres of water. Mix all the contents and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil and cook for approximately 30 mins.
  4. Add the tomato pieces and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the cabbage is very soft.
  5. Remove from the heat temporarily, while you make a paste to thicken the soup.
  6. Combine the paprika and flour in a cup and slowly mix in ¼ cup of water with a spoon until you have a smooth paste. Blend the paste into the soup and place the soup back on the stove and bring to the boil. Boil for five minutes until the liquid slightly thickens. Sprinkle with crushed pepper and serve with grainy bread.

Serves 6

  • To easily peel tomatoes, place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water from a kettle. Let them sit for a few minutes, then drain. Cut a sharp cross on the bottom side of the tomato and peel back the four sides.

Per serve: energy 260 kJ (62 Cal); protein 4 g; fat 1 g; saturated fat 0 g; cholesterol 0 mg; carbohydrate 10 g; fibre 7 g; calcium 69 mg; iron 1 mg