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One soup, two mighty ingredients - lentils and cabbage, and carefully selected nourishing roots and herbs, all come together in one instant pot, in just 20 minutes!!

Winter soup diet can't get easier than this!!
Cabbage Lentil Soup

This recipe combines two of my favorite soups in one pot - creamy lentil soup and healthy filling cabbage soup.

It is like vegetarian cabbage soup getting a dose of lentil proteins. First in this recipe, I combined the good nutrition of both: protein of lentils and filling nature of cabbage soup. Then, I added thoughtfully selected herbs and roots in soup to make healing and warming from with-in.

With winter storms everywhere, this is a lentil soup recipe which is both satisfactory filling and without lots of fat or carb calories. No one will judge, soup has no cream or thickener. It is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and even nut-milk-free.

I would not call it a diet soup but this is definitely a low-oil, no-meat, and no-cream soup which makes complete meal. You can serve a bread on side. For me, it is a complete meal. I like to save some raw cabbage while chopping the cabbage head for soup. I top it on hot bowl of soup for some crunch and freshness.

Oh, and this lentil soup has been prepared in Instant Pot in just 20 minutes! However, don't worry if you don't have instant pot or pressure cooker because I'm also including instruction to make same soup in dutch oven and also in slow cooker.

Lentil soup ingredients in instant pot |

Cooking lentils in instant pot is super fast. So any lentils recipes is ready in almost no time. Other methods are little time consuming.. but so worth for a flavorful and nourishing soup like this one.

Like I mentioned, every ingredient in this lentil soup is either nourishing or adds to flavor of the soup:

1. Cabbage: Cabbage makes it filling, and also adds a refreshing crunch.
2. Lentils: Lentils are good source of plant-protein. And are also filling.
3. Ginger, garlic, and Turmeric root: These mighty roots make this soup warm, and healing. There is very subtle flavor of ginger and turmeric in soup but it keeps a mighty punch. If you like gingery soup, feel free to add more.
4. Thyme, bay leaves, parsley: Herbs add lot of depth of flavor to the soup and also some natural anti-oxidants.
5. Tomatoes and Vinegar: These two are quintessential lentil-soup-base-ingredients which give tang to the soup and balance the earthy flavors of lentils.
6. Chili Flakes, Jalapeno, and Black Peppers: So many chili and peppers!!? Don't worry though because soup is not hot spicy. It carries a subtle heat of these pepper and chilies which only makes it flavorful. I love to sprinkle lots of pepper on all lentils soups before eating. Please be your own judge. Use as per your preference.
7. Vegetable Stock (if using): I mostly use water in lentil soups but you can replace water with good quality low-sodium vegetable stock. It will make soup more nutritious.  (prefer to make a homemade batch. I have a recipe here)

Vegan and Gluten free creamy lentil and cabbage soup |

Cabbage Soup Diet?

I'm sure you wondering if this soup will fit cabbage soup diet? My motto of sharing the recipe was to give you a warming and detoxifying soup with filling dose of cabbage and lentils. This can be a nice variation from eating only cabbage soup for dieting. It has very less oil and no creams.. plus lots of healthy nutrients which are must to survive in such cold winter weather.

If carbs of lentils concern you, add half cup lentils or add more stock and cabbage to keep the flavor and reduce calories.

Even if you are not planning a diet, I recommend trying it as simple - lentil vegetable soup. Add some carrots, beans, turnips. Make it your own. Serve a crusty bread or rice on side and weekday dinner is ready to devour.

One Soup, Three Cooking Methods:

One pot soups are really my sweethearts. I love the fact that I can cook these any ways without much change in recipe. I cooked this batch of lentil cabbage soup in Instant Pot on pressure cooker setting. You can even cook it in slow cooker or a simple dutch oven (heavy bottom deep pot). 

For slow cooker, saute the aromatics in a pan until onions are slight brown at edges. Add to slow cooker pot with all other ingredients but vinegar and half of salt. Cook on low for 4 hours or until lentils are very tender. Add vinegar, adjust salt anf black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

For stove top, saute the aromatics in a deep bottom pan until onions are slight brown at edges. Add lentils with half of salt and water. Cook until lentils are soft. Then, add remaining ingredients including cabbage and cook for until cabbage is soft. Add vinegar, adjust salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Creamy vegan and gluten free lentil and cabbage soup for healthy cabbage soup diet in instant pot |

Oh, don't forget top same some cabbage to serve over hot bowl of soup. It adds a refreshing crunch without need of croutons. 

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Cabbage Lentil Soup

Cabbage Lentil Soup
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 6-7 cups soup Serves 4 Notes No. of servings depends on serving size.
Smart Swap Replace french lentils with yellow lentils for an even lighter soup.


  • 1 Cup French Lentils  (or red lentils, dry lentils picked and thoroughly washed )
  • 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion  (rough chopped )
  • 1 lbs Cabbage  (small chopped)
  • 2 inch Ginger  
  • 2 inch Turmeric  (fresh root or 1/2 tsp dried powder)
  • 3 Garlic  (cloves)
  • 1/2 Jalapeno  
  • 4 tbsp Parsley  (fresh leaves, chopped)
  • 1 tsp Thyme  
  • 4 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar  
  • 2 Bay Leaf  
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce  (8 ounce tomato sauce, prefer organic without preservatives)
  • 1 tsp Salt and Black Pepper  (1 tsp salt, black pepper per taste)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil  
  • 2 tbsp Hot Sauce  (or chili flakes, use vegan and gluten free hot sauce)


  • 1. In a food processor, add yellow onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, turmeric, 2 tbsp of parsley and grind to a coarse paste.
  • 2. Heat oil in instant pot on saute setting. Add onion mixture with thyme and saute for 3-4 minutes or until mixture is slightly brown. Add washed lentils, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, **chopped cabbage, and tomato sauce. Add 6 and 1/2 cups of water. Close the lid. Cook on lentil/chili setting or high pressure for *12 minutes.
  • 3. Once cooked, let instant pot auto release the pressure or switch to venting setting to release pressure. After pressure has released, open the lid, add red wine vinegar, hot sauce, black pepper. Taste and adjust salt. Add remaining parsley. Serve with some fresh chopped cabbage on top. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
*Cooking time vary based on make and model of instant pot. Adjust time as per instructions on instant pot. Lentils should be tender. If soup gets thicker add 1/2 cup more. **If you like slightly crunchy cabbage in soup? then make soup with lentils only. Once lentils are cooked, add cabbage and extra 1 cup water/stock. Cook 1 minute under high pressure or simmer until cabbage is tender to your liking.

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5 comment(s)

  1. Unable to print it out and I'd like to fix it! Very healthy ingredients and looks very tasty! Also could not copy paste onto a document in order to print it.

    Hi Gail, I regret the print did not work for you. Which browser are you using? May be I can help.
  2. This was very good. We used red lentils, a whole jalapeno, and ground turmeric since the store was out of fresh. My son had 3 bowls of it.

    Hi Maryanne, I'm glad your family enjoyed Lentil Cabbage Soup! Thanks for sharing sweet feedback! I appreciate it.
  3. All of your recipes sound delicious, but how do I save them? I'm unable to copy them to my files :( BTW...I too, live in San Diego...any recommendations for a great Indian restaurant? Yum!!!