Recently a family friend posted an Italian Peasant Soup that encouraged me to create this Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup. This soup is inspired by the Polish Borscht Easter Soup we used to have every year when I was growing up. My grandma used to make this soup and her key ingredient was simply Kielbasa and water.
I’ve always loved cabbage and decided to do a new take on White Borscht by making a kielbasa and cabbage soup with cannellini beans. You won’t believe how incredibly easy this soup is to make and best of all, there are only 5 ingredients. You can make this Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup in the Instant Pot or stovetop.
What is White Borscht Soup?
White Borscht Soup ( or Bialy Barszcz in Polish) is a traditional Polish soup my grandma used to make every Easter Sunday. One of my fondest memories of my grandparents was all the unique foods they introduced me to at such a young age. I never realized growing up how much it would influence who I’ve become.
It used to be that on Easter Sunday families would bring baskets of food to the church to be blessed. This is where the American tradition of the Easter Basket derived from. These ingredients were then used to create the Polish White Borscht Soup.
Traditional Easter Soup
I think during easter most of us think of cabbage. It’s one of those vegetables I seem to never eat unless it’s around the holidays even though I enjoy it so much. We eat comforting soups regularly so after seeing our friend Terry’s soup on Facebook, I was inspired to creater this easy cabbage soup just like we enjoyed during the Easter holidays as a child. Of course, it was fantastic, and even better the next day and the day after that.
Tips for Making Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re making this soup.
- First, you may be tempted to add all vegetable broth or chicken stock but trust me, this is not necessary. This soup has so much flavor and White Borscht traditionally is only made with water.
- I used the Instant Pot because our kitchen is under renovation and I love my Instant Pot. You can also reduce the heat and simmer this soup for 5-10 minutes.
- Be careful not to overcook your green cabbage or it will become mushy. This is why this Instant Pot Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup only need to pressure cook on high for 1 minute. If cooking on the stove, continue to check the cabbage so it does not become overcooked.
- While this recipe uses Kielbasa sausage, White Borsht uses Polish sausage and you can even use smoked sausage, Italian sausage, or turkey Kielbasa if you want to reduce the fat content.
Here are some different variations you can implement when making this soup.
- enjoy this cabbage soup with potatoes
- make smoked sausage and cabbage soup instead of using Kielbasa or use Polish sausage
- make Italian sausage and cabbage soup
- make cabbage soup with Kielbasa and tomatoes
- For extra flavor, you can add in a few caraway seeds when you are sauteeing the onions
- make creamy Kielbasa and cabbage soup by adding 1/2 cup of half-and-half
How to make Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup in the Instant Pot (Easter Soup)
To make this hearty soup in the Instant Pot you will first turn your Instant Pot to saute mode on normal and let it pre-heat. Once preheated, add a spray of olive oil and add your onions. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes until translucent and add your Kielbasa. Saute for another 3-4 minutes and then add your fresh cabbage. Coat the cabbage with the fat from your kielbasa which will add a nice flavor.
Then add your vegetable broth, water, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Turn off the saute mode and add the lid to your Instant Pot. Set to pressure cook on high for 1 minute and quick release. Cabbage cooks very quickly so it only needs one minute.
Finally, add your Cannellini beans and serve. It’s that simple. To cook this on the stovetop, you will simply simmer your cabbage until it’s cooked down which will take about 5-10 minutes. Be sure to keep it on very low heat so your cabbage is not overcooked.
How to Make Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup on the Stove Top
This simple soup is incredibly easy to make on the stovetop using your favorite Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute your chopped onions on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Then add your Kielbasa sausage and saute for another 2 minutes. Next, reduce the stove to medium heat and add in your chopped cabbage. Cook until the sauteed cabbage begins to cook down for another 2-4 minutes. Finally, add your broth and let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes until the cabbage is tender but not mushy.
Options for Garnishing
As a garnish, you can top this hot bowl of soup with fresh dill, fresh parsley, or Italian Seasoning. I personally think adding dill as a garnish adds a unique great flavor to the soup.
Can you make this soup in the Slow Cooker/Crock Pot?
Personally, this easy soup cooks so quickly there is really no need to make it in a crock pot or slow cooker. You also run the risk of overcooking your cabbage.
What is a good side dish for Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup?
Traditionally you would serve Sausage Cabbage Soup with a selection of different sides like boiled eggs and potatoes. Below are some playful and traditional side dishes you can serve with this hearty cabbage soup.
- Boiled Eggs
- Boiled yellow potatoes or red potatoes
- potato hashbrown cakes
- rye bread
Is Cabbage Soup Good For You?
Cabbage is incredibly nutritious and full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. It is also low in calories. In fact, 2 cups of this soup are only 306 calories! Cabbage is also believed to help improve digestion and inflammation.
Storing, Leftovers, and Meal Planning
As with most of our recipes, this Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup freezes great for leftovers. You can really make this soup any time of the year as a wonderful addition to your weekly meal planning. Just put your soup in a freezer-safe container or even a freezer-safe and air tight ziplock and it will store for 3 months in the freezer.
Other Healthy Comforting Soup Recipes
Here are some additional easy soup recipes the whole family can enjoy. These healthy recipes are a great option when you are short on time or want to have some soups to freeze for leftovers.
- Easy 10 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
- Simple Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup (without using heavy cream)
If you love this Kielbasa Cabbage Soup try our other sausage soup recipe, Zuppa Tuscana!
Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup Inspired by Polish Borscht Easter Soup
- ¼ tsp olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ cup sweet onions chopped
- 12 ounces Kielbasa sliced
- 4.5 cups cabbage cored & chopped
- 2 ¼ cup cannellini beans one can
- 1 cup vegetable stock unsalted
- 3 cups water
- ½ tbsp salt to taste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- First turn your Instant Pot to Saute on normal heat and wait for it to preheat
- Once preheated, spray your olive oil and add your chopped onions and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add your Kielbasa and saute another 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add your cabbage and stir completely so the fat and flavor from the Kielbasa has coated the cabbage.
- Then add your vegetable stock, water, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper.
- Turn off the saute feature, put on your Instant Pot lid, and make sure your vent is closed. Set to pressure cook on high for 1 minute.
- Once finished, quick release. Then add your can of Cannellini Beans with juice, stir and serve.
Stove Top Instructions
- Pre-heat your pot on medium heat. When hot, spray your olive oil, and add your chopped onions and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add your kielbasa and saute another 1-2 minutes. Next add your cabbage and stir to coat your cabbage.
- Then add the vegetable stock, water, lemon salt, and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Check your soup often so you do not overcook your cabbage.
- Once the cabbage is tender, turn the heat off and add your Cannellini Beans with juice. Stir and serve.
Tips for Making Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup
- Using a Mr. Misto is a great way to avoid accessive calories and use your favorite oil as a nonstick spray.
- Avocado Oil is a great substitute for Olive Oil and can be heated at a higher temperature.
- I really enjoy Pink Himalayan Salt over traditional table salt. It has a higher mineral content and a better flavor
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