Today I have a really healthy and easy recipe for you, especially if you’re interested in losing some weight, feeling better and eating more home cooked food. It’s a delicious spin on cabbage soup. No this is not the recipe from the Cabbage Soup Diet (which after looking at makes me think it kinda sucks…) Mine features whole homemade ingredients without any packages of soup seasoning, V8 or chemical flavour enhancers.
The point of the cabbage soup in the cabbage soup diet is to fill you up on broth and vegetables in place of one meal a day so that you can lose weight fairly easily without crash dieting or being hungry.
A Healthier Alternative To The Cabbage Soup Diet
If you wanted a healthy guideline to lose some weight a safe and manageable way it would be to just eat fruits, lots of vegetables (even baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash are ok) and homemade vegetable soup (should be oil/cream free). You want to fill up on lower calorie high fibre nutrient dense foods. You could also have some beans or homemade hummus to go with your meals if desired as well. People gain weight because they eat too many rich foods like fried foods, meat, cheese, cream, butter, pastries, and bread products with oil in/on them. Even eating a diet of just potatoes wouldn’t cause you to gain weight, but if you slathered every potato in butter, sour cream and bacon it would become far too rich to achieve weight loss.
Actually I put a friend of mine on a fat free (and also no bread or flour products) diet back in September and she’s lost 50 lbs already just by eating more homemade meals and making sure they were based on foods like potatoes, vegetables and even rice instead of meat, bread, pastries and dairy products. She’s doing great and still enjoys eating this way every day.
One thing people think when it comes to alternative “healthier” lifestyles it that they will always hate it, never be able to do it or even starve to death (maybe even get bored to death too!). Let me tell you that is not the case. I started eating more raw and vegan for health reasons, not because I didn’t like how steak or chicken tasted. (Hey I’m being honest!) But now I’ve been eating vegetable based dishes for so long that I actually don’t miss or crave any animal foods at all. I really couldn’t imagine eating them again. I actually enjoy the food I eat now even more than the food I used to eat. (Whatever you do most often now, you tend to like even more than what you used to do back then. It’s just the way the brain perceives things. Recent events tend to be better than past events a lot of the time because their more clear in our minds.) I like vegetables so much that if I go to a regular restaurant and get a pasta dish or soup that has hardly any vegetables in it, I get sad and want more vegetables! I could never just eat a big plate of plain spaghetti and sauce anymore, I love putting vegetables or lentils in it to give it more flavour.
People may think all vegans eat are carrots, broccoli and celery, but that is simply not true. In fact I eat a much wider variety of ALL plant foods now than I ever did before. I can’t even say I have a favourite fruit or vegetable. I love many of them like cherries, mangoes, watermelon, white peaches, Hawaiian papayas, pineapple, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, eggplant, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Thai pumpkin, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms and more. I wouldn’t be able to choose any of those as my favourite. I eat an even bigger variety than these, but these are some foods I really enjoy eating regularly and never get sick of eating. (This doesn’t even includes all the beans, legumes and whole grains I enjoy as well!)
I made 2 batches of vegetable broth and 2 batches of this cabbage soup last week, it was that good. One day I had 3 bowls of it for dinner! At 108 calories a bowl there’s really nothing to worry because you couldn’t possibly gain weight by eating this soup.
Fat Free Vegan Cabbage Soup Recipe
2 medium sweet onions, diced (like Vidalia, Walla Walla etc. They have light coloured skin and a slightly flattened top and bottom)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
10 oz./283 g package of mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
6 large stalks of celery, leaves removed and sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb/454 g (1/2 head) of green cabbage, shredded or cut with mandolin
28 oz/793 g (or 2 16oz cans) fire roasted diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organics)
10 cups/2.5 qtss/2.3 L fresh vegetable broth (my recipes are here) or low sodium packaged vegetable broth
Herbamare/Salt and pepper to taste
- Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in 2-3 cups of vegetable broth for 5-6 minutes until the onions are tender. (Mushrooms take longer to cook than the rest of the veggies, so we’re cooking them first.)
- Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme, the canned tomatoes, and the vegetable broth.
- Cook the vegetables over medium heat for 30-40 minutes or low heat for 1.5-2 hours until the vegetables are tender.
- Season to taste with Herbamare or salt and pepper. Add a little cayenne or chili pepper if you like the soup spicy. If you like your soup a little thinner you can add a little more vegetable broth or water if desired. But don’t add too much or you will dilute the flavour.
This soup is almost like a cabbage stew because it’s so full of vegetables. I prefer to have lots of veggies in my soup and a little less broth. You can add a little more broth if you like really watery soups. (But this is already so low calorie you don’t really need to water it down if you’re looking for a diet-friendly meal.)
I found I didn’t need to add much salt to my soup as I made homemade broth that was naturally sweet from the sweet onions, carrots and thyme and the fire roasted tomatoes have enough salt in them already.
This is a great recipe that you can use for a soup base and just change out some of the veggies for different ones for variety. You can also experiment with different salt free seasoning blends. Just make sure you always add a little, let it cook for a few minutes and taste test before adding more, so you don’t end up with an over seasoned soup!
If you use a bowl or two of this soup with some fruit or a salad every day instead of your normal meal it will help you lose weight just like any other meal replacement plan. But this is much more nutritious because it’s homemade and packed full of vitamins and minerals from the veggies. Even more so if you make your own vegetable broth. There is no comparison for me between store bought and homemade broth, so give it a try sometime and you will enjoy homemade soups even more!
Even if you changed a few of the vegetables in this soup it would be around the same calories. Overall it’s a very low calorie nutrient dense soup.