Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil

by on April 21, 2011
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Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil

The day after her 14th birthday, my daughter E leaned against the door to my office and said, “Let’s go on a diet together.”

I was stunned into babbling: “You do not need to go on a diet. You’re a size 0. If you get any smaller, you’ll cease to exist.”

“I know. I don’t want to lose any weight. But it would be fun to do it together.”

I knew where this was coming from. Earlier that day she’d had lunch with a friend and her friend’s “awesome mom” who were doing a low-carb diet together.  She’d watched as her vegetarian friend put all the cheese and vegetables of her sandwich onto one piece of bread and ate it open-faced. She’d told me about the lunch in detail, and I could tell that there was something about the relationship between the mother and daughter that appealed to her, something that she wanted to share with me. And though the idea of her starting down this whole diet path at her age scared me to death, I said, “How about a cabbage soup diet?”  I never dreamed she’d say yes, but she did.

Notice I said “a” cabbage soup diet and not “the” cabbage soup diet, whatever that is. Our plan was simply to eat cabbage soup once a day for a week and not to restrict ourselves in any way. I figured it would be a way to get more vegetables into her “sandwich for lunch” diet. It had been years since she’d allowed me to pack soup in her lunchbox, but now she was asking me to, even offering to eat it for breakfast.  More importantly, it would give me a chance to show her that a person’s “diet” isn’t about weight loss but about healthy eating. If I’d seen any sign that she was actually wanting to lose weight, any sign of body image issues, I would have backed off of the idea and sat her down for a long talk. But she just wanted to get into the kitchen to make our soup together.

E at 14

E on her 14th birthday; shirt by Vegan Beast

I decided right away that our vegan cabbage soup would contain beans for protein, tomatoes for lycopene, and a little extra fat, in the form of pine nuts. E sauteed the onions and other vegetables while I did all the chopping, and we decided together that some of the basil from our garden would be the best seasoning for our “pesto soup,” as E called it.

Like everything else E has had a hand in making, she loved this soup.  She ate two bowls of it for lunch on Sunday, the first day of our “diet,” and took it to school for lunch on Monday, along with some whole-grain crackers, a granola bar, and an apple–a nourishing meal for a teenager.

I’m still not sure I did the right thing in allowing a 14-year old to go on a diet, even one without restrictions. But I figure in our body-conscious society, more and more of her friends are going to be talking about dieting, and I might as well show her from the start that it’s all about adding healthy fruits and vegetables, not taking dangerous pills or drinking meals out of cans.

Update: We had this soup for lunch on Sunday and Monday, and for Tuesday I made a potato-cabbage soup that was, in E’s words, an epic fail. We both ate it anyway, but there was no way we were choking it down again on Wednesday, so we went soupless. I’m making another pot of this cabbage soup today, since it was such a success, and we’ll have some for a snack this afternoon.
Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil

Simple Cabbage and Chickpea Soup with Fresh Basil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups hot water (plus bouillon cubes, below) or vegetable broth (and no bouillon cubes)
  • 3 cubes no-salt added bouillon cubes (or enough to flavor 6 cups of water)*
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • generous grating black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)
  1. Heat a large, non-stick pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the basil and pine nuts. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Stir in fresh basil and serve in individual soup bowls, topped with 1 teaspoon of pine nuts, if desired.
*I used 3 cubes (6 servings) of Rapunzel No-Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon, which contain 25 calories, 2 grams of fat and 130 mg per serving. If you use another broth or bouillon cube, your nutritional stats will vary.

Nutrition info contains calories and 2 grams fat from pine nuts.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6 of recipe Calories: 158 Fat: 4.8g Carbohydrates: 23g Sodium: 496mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 6.2g


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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LT April 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

I love how you handled that situation: You could have freaked out and lectured your daughter on how beautiful she is, but instead you looked for her motivation and chose a path that would satisfy the surface request (a diet) and the motivation (an opportunity to bond over something). You’re right, we are entirely image conscious and, as much as we’d like to shelter children from this, we can’t. The best we can do is to educate them and help them make healthy choices.

I hope that you’ll have an opportunity to talk about how food makes us feel and how eating a healthy, balanced diet makes us feel all around good.

Also, the soup looks delicious and I’m debating whether to try it with the purple cabbage I have in my fridge.


2 Carli April 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

This sounds delicious! I will definitely be trying it soon.

I was a bit frightened when I started reading this blog post, but so relieved by how the story turned out! I believe you could not have responded to your daughter’s wish to “diet” together in a better way– it made me just want to hug you! 🙂


3 Ginger April 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

This is wonderful that you’ve found a way to bond with your daughter. The teen years can be wrenching. It’s so funny that you said you allowed her to go on a diet. One thing that you might not understand yet is that you cannot give her permission for things like that anymore. She will do as she pleases, that is what the whole anorexia/bulimia problem is about. Young people must begin to control their own lives. Food is often the only way they can gain control. So your decision to do this ‘diet’ together and support her was a very wise choice. Yeah Mom!


4 Jessica L Caneal April 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

In my opinion you are the “awesome mom”. I applaud you for paying attention to your child’s actual needs, for letting her feel heard, giving her the space to grow and make decisions, and for providing her with what she really needed at the time (time with her mom). There are so few parents these days who are willing to put in the time it takes (time is a precious commodity in our culture) to really be there for their kids! You are an amazing mom!


5 L. April 21, 2011 at 9:23 am

I’ve saved to my recipe box! This looks really good. I love your blog and recipes; I enjoyed a Cinnamon Swirl Muffin this morning for breakfast.
My husband, daughter, and I have been vegans for about six months now and have been very inspired and have learned a lot from your blog. I love the recipes that I try.
Two years ago, I decided to change my lifestyle and get healthy. I have lost 135 pounds and feel the best that I’ve ever felt. My family and I decided to go vegan after animal products started not to be so appealing to us; not to mention cruelty issue. Now I wish that I could get my extended family (parents and siblings) to understand our eating lifestyle. They act like we have eating disorders or something! It’s just the opposite….I love the food that I make now!
Thanks for the inspiration and great recipes.


6 Megan Violetta April 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

Hi! I think I’m going to try this soup recipe- I’ve become a soup for lunch girl as part of my “want to look kick ass in my wedding dress diet” ; )

Curious- how long would you estimate the soup is good for? I’ve been puttin off making my own soup because my fiance doesn’t like it. I’ve been packing my self a can of Amy’s organic soup everyday. I’ve been wanting to try making homemade soup not only because the fresher ingredients will be better health wise but also I’m betting it’s more cost effective. I’ve just been fearfull that I will end of pouring half of it down the drain because I can’t eat it fast enough.


7 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

I can see this keeping for about two weeks. You can also freeze it in individual servings so that you can have it at a later date. Have a great wedding!


8 Christine April 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

E is so pretty, Susan. You’re a great mom.


9 Sara @ Veggies For Real April 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

I also think you handled the situation fantastically. I remember being 14 , and the pressure associated with being “thin” and “pretty” quite clearly. I think shifting the focus to being healthy instead is a great way to show your daughter, or any teenager, what’s really important in life. If I were your daughter, I would be more willing to approach you with future concerns/requests in the future because of your reasonable response to my request do “diet”.
As for the soup, it looks delicious!! It’s almost too hot in NC these days to consider eating soup, which kind of upsets me since I love it so much.


10 dawn May 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Sara, why not eat the soup cold or at room temp?
Perhaps with some crusty bread, toasted or not.
Just a suggestion….. : )


11 CLEVegan April 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

I chuckled over your comment “if you get any smaller, you will cease to exist.” My sister & her husband tried vegetarianism a number of years ago, and they both lost weight but their size zero daughter gained (healthy) weight! My weight stays even when I have soup and crackers and fruit for lunch every day. I like Dr. Esselstyn’s cold Gazpacho soup when it’s hot outside.


12 Heather @ Healthy Vegan Recipes April 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

haha… pesto in soup form is a pretty good description! I love the flavor combo in this soup, and funnily enough I came wandering over to your site to see if I could find an answer to a soup question I had the other day 🙂 When you start the onions/garlic/root veggies cooking for a soup, do you do a water saute? Or do you just let them cook on the dry pot? Also, herbs (especially fresh ones, yum!) are fine to steep into the stock, but I find when I try to do oil-free soups with lots of spices, like an Indian-flavored one, the spices just sink to the bottom and don’t really infuse the soup like they do when they get sauteed into oil. Any tips? I was considering mixing the spices into a small bit of tahini to carry the flavor (at least it’s a whole food, even though it’s processed into a butter form), but thought there MUST be a way to do this!!


13 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I usually use a very good non-stick pot that doesn’t require any water or oil. In other pans, I would add water a tablespoon at a time as needed to keep it from sticking.

I’m sure that tahini would be a great addition to any soup and may help carry the seasoning like you want. I don’t really have a problem with my seasonings settling, probably because the Indian dishes I cook are so thick that they couldn’t settle. 🙂


14 Heather @ Healthy Vegan Recipes April 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Great, thanks for the tips 🙂


15 Lauren (Diary of a Vegan Girl) April 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

Susan, this looks so yummy! That is so awesome that you have such a great relationship with your daughter! I also like her shirt 🙂


16 Terre Munk April 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

Susan: I think you have taken a great approach to “dieting” and E is learning great lessons. Good job taking into account that she and her peers are all weight conscious and she wants to fit in. I think your parenting skills are solid! Yay!


17 moonwatcher April 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

Dear Susan,

I agree wtih all the other posts about how beautifully you seized the moment to share something with your daughter in such a loving and fun way. So what has potential for becoming a serious problem is transformed into a partnership of learning, sharing and enjoying the experience. I remember the teen years of my son, and how important those “invitations” to talk or share an experience were. Bravo for seizing that moment! It’s EVERYTHING where teenagers are concerned, because the moment shifts, and might not come again in that same way. The photos are beautiful, both the soup and E–she is shining with health and happiness–I wish her, and you, as her mother, a wonderful 14th year.

I woke up this morning thinking I might make a version of your other chickpea cabbage “noodle” soup again, since I liked it so much, and it’s still cool here–snowflakes in the air even just a few minutes ago–now I have even more options to experiment with!




18 Amy Griggs April 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

That looks yummy. I love soup any time of year. Do you have a suggestion for what I might use instead of pinenuts? Would walnuts be strange?



19 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Hi Amy! I think walnuts would be great, and even more nutritious than pine nuts.


20 The Mad Scientist April 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

Lovely recipe. My kid refuses to cook so I miss the pleasure of cooking together. It sure must be fun.

Soup looks good. To hot here so no soups right now but will make it later.


21 Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) April 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

You’re such a cool Momma! I think you handled that situation perfectly. …and the soup looks pretty darn good too 😉


22 Andrea @ Vegvacious April 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I think you did a wonderful job at handling the “diet” situation. Your daughter is at a crucial age where learning those lessons will make such a positive impact on her body image and self esteem. Way to go!

Your soup looks great. I’m thinking I just might have to try your cabbage soup diet 🙂


23 wendy (healthy girl's ktichen) April 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Love the photograph, as usual!

Funny, my oldest daughter and I went no-oil vegan together. It was after we heard Rip Esselstyn speak live one year ago. I never thought of it the way you described it in this post, but I’m so glad that I am thinking about it now. It is totally a bond that we share. I love that! Thank you!


24 gm April 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Sorry, are you sure that the nutrition numbers are correct? How did you end up with nearly a gram of sodium per serving? Was it primarily from the canned food? Did you use broth + bouillon or water + bouillon?

The ingredients list looks clean, you even used no-salt bouillon…


25 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Oops, you’re right! My nutrition program used the figures for broth when I meant to use water. Stay tuned while I make the changes to the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out.


26 K April 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi Susan – I noticed a lot of your recipes have garlic in them. I’m allergic to garlic so I always use ginger instead – which i love and my girlfriend hates – so we have a little problem. Can you recommend something else in place of garlic? Thanks, k


27 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

K, in most of my recipes, I would just omit the garlic and increase the other herbs and spices, in this case oregano and basil. If you can find it, there’s an Indian seasoning called asafetida, which has a garlic-like taste. A little of it goes a long way, so if you find it, just use a pinch or two.


28 Laura April 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

You might still want to talk to her about dieting and body image, anyway. Seriously.


29 Girl..get a life April 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

This looks absolutely yummy. I’ll have to try this out. Bookmarking for future reference.


30 Michell April 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I received a large bunch of dill (and a huge head of cabbage) in my CSA basket. What do you think about substituting dill for the basil??


31 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

If you like dill, then go for it! I think it would be great.


32 Orthohawk October 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I tried this soup with dill (dried), about a tablespoon and kidney beans instead of chickpeas (I can’t seem to get around garbanzoes in anything other than hummus!) and it was Dee-lishus!


33 Tera April 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

your daughter is beautiful! I’m also 14. I’m also vegan! I’m glad there are more of us around. tell your daughter I say hello, keep strong!


34 Johanna GGG April 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

thanks for your interesting reflections about young girls and diets – sounds like a sensible approach – Cabbage is great in soup – glad this one is a keeper – some ideas I can give (all on my blog) is it goes well with quinoa and corn, with a thai tofu soup and pureed with oats and root veg


35 Caitlin April 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm

i love cabbage soup. interestingly, it reminds me of my mom because she used to make it for me every friday when i still lived at home. this soup looks very yummy- maybe i should ask my mom to make it for me… 😉


36 lisa April 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

this looks so awesome. but my son will not eat nightshades in any way, shape or form. do you have suggestions on a substitute for the tomatoes?? thanks much.


37 SusanV April 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

You can make it without the tomatoes and just add extra broth. It’s good either way.


38 Katrina April 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I truly enjoyed reading this blog. (My LOL moment was at, “and for Tuesday I made a potato-cabbage soup that was, in E’s words, an epic fail”.) I think you handled the situation wonderfully. I have a 7 year old daughter, who because of today’s society, is already concerned about weight and her appearance. BTW, I also have an (almost) 11 year old son who is starting to have the same concerns. I just don’t remember having to worry about this stuff at their ages! But I am trying to teach them that eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle will do wonders for our bodies. This year, I have made serious changes to our diet, and I have made a point to make sure that they know I go to the gym at least 5 times a week. I am excited about getting involved in outdoor family activities once our weather around here is suitable.
ANYWAY—while we are not Vegan, we do eat 90% “clean” (working on that other 10%) and I incorporate at least 1-2 meatless meals into our diet per week. My children are getting pretty accustomed to that, especially when it’s a soup or stew. The soup in this photo looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!! Thank you!


39 Martha April 22, 2011 at 7:06 am

I made this soup for dinner last night. It was wonderful! Such a nice flavor. Thank you. I used fire roasted tomatoes and served it with a crusty bread. Can’t wait for lunch to have leftovers!


40 Cassie April 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

Good for you for teaching your daughter that a diet is about eating GOOD food! I have so many friends who go on group diets and all they eat is frozen “healthy” entrees, sweetened granola bars and maybe some apples. It’s hard to be supportive and encouraging without being preachy. Eating delicious food like this soup – even “epic fails” haha – is so great for your daughter and her positive image.


41 Kelly April 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

This soup looks and sounds so delicious! However, it is sad how girls are being pressured to go on diets younger, and younger. I know from first hand experience that these teenage “diets” are not something you want to get stuck in. For me, veganism was a desperate attempt to lose weight. This moved from veganism, to eating only fruits and vegetables, then to only fruits, then liquids only, then celery only, leading to a 400 calorie limit/day and excessive exercise, chewing and spitting, and self-induced vomiting. Luckily, my parents interfered and got me to eat again. After recovering from the physical aspects, the mental damage lasts way longer.
Your daughter is so beautiful! I hope she knows that.
I think most women have that voice inside their head that tells them they aren’t good enough, but we have to challenge that voice or simply ignore its existence.


42 NewGem April 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

It is great to have a healthy food relationship with your children. How wonderful that your daughter feels the same way! Being a positive food role model is one of the most important parts of parenting. Way to go!


43 amanda April 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

made this soup yesterday, but sort of “asian-ized” it, using napa cabbage, a squirt of sriracha, and thai basil. it was great!! thanks for the recipe.

ps: you’re a great mom 🙂


44 Dawn April 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Yay! Another yummy soup courtesy of Susan. I didn’t have any chick peas and I had some fresh spinach that was in danger of not being eaten quickly enough. So with a couple modifications I made this recipe. Delicious!
Eating well together as a family is great. Thanks for the inspiration.


45 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I can totally understand E. I here from all of my friends “I’m too fat!” “I’m flabby!” “I need to go on a diet!” etc! It is so sad what society is doing. They want to mold girls’ (and boys’) body like clay! It is so sad that the “perfect” figure is tall and straight. What happened to the curves? A girl’s body is precious, and should be treated as such.

I love how you recconized that all E wanted was the relationship. I think a mother-daughter relationship is something every girl wants. I know that when my relationship is strong with my mom, I’m more confident and such.

You are so smart to use cabbage soup. I love how many vegetables and beans are in this! It’s not really a diet — it’s just striving to eat more vegetables! 🙂


46 Elise April 25, 2011 at 12:18 am

I’d never want to tell you how to parent your own daughter, but I have to admit this post makes me a little concerned. As someone currently suffering and attempting recovery from anorexia, please believe me when I say that it’s a long, hard road to go down and a harder one to come back from. Although it can begin at any age for many people onset comes in the early teens, exactly where your daughter is now. Your daughter, whose name I share ( 🙂 ) is evidently a lovely and already very slim young lady, and I suppose I’m just a bit worried by her sudden interest in dieting. Even if it begins as just a way to bond with you, I would be very wary of any newfound interest she develops in looking up nutritional information (and especially in counting calories) and I really wouldn’t indulge an interest in ‘dieting’. You know your daughter best and I’m sure you’ll steer her right – I’d just hate to see another young life ruined by this dreadful disease.


47 Zeryx April 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Great soup! I just made and ate some. Oddly, the supermarket was out of fresh basil, so I put some dried in with the oregano. I also used white kidney beans instead of chickpeas and added a little white pepper. Other than that, made it exactly as listed and was very pleased with the homey, comforting taste.


48 Reyna April 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Loved the article and have to praise you for the way you handled the diet topic. I had ran into a very similar dilemma with my 16 yr old daughter a few months back who was obsessed with being slim and going in ridiculous diets as eating nothing but apples, or nothing but carrots, it got so bad we where constantly arguing due to her stubbornness . We took a family vacation recently to Puerto Vallarta and we stayed at Taheima Wellness Resort & Spa and they offered a magnificent culinary academy in which healthy and moreover proper eating was a must. They showed us how to prepare and eat healthy regardless if it was on the go. Since then my daughter has realized to keep slim and being on a diet one does not have to relinquish eating anything but be moderate and educated.


49 Francine April 26, 2011 at 5:43 pm

This soup was so good! I loved every bite and am looking forward to eating left overs tomorrow! Thank you for doing this website; I don’t think I would be able to be vegan without it!


50 Recipe Clubs April 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

This looks so good! and so healthy! Maybe it’s time I went on a cabbage soup diet. Have you done anything with potatoes in your cabbage soups yet? I have a sack that desperately needs to be eaten and I need ideas!
~Nancy Lewis~


51 Kurt May 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I’m making this tonight… have yet to taste it but it smells wonderful!


52 Madhu May 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Hi Susan, this is a wonderful recipe. I was a little worried on how a combination of cabbage and chickpeas would taste …. but it turned out so tasty and hearty. I generally dont use bouillon cubes but picked up the Rapunzel brand which you used from Whole Foods Market. This is a soup I am going to make atleast once a week.


53 PM in NC May 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

I made this soup for dinner last night and brought it for lunch today. It’s delicious and came together very quickly, especially since my recently returned college student son did all the chopping while I worked on the rest of dinner. Thanks for another delicious, practical recipe.


54 VEGirl May 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

“If you get any smaller, you will cease to exist!”. LOL!

I remember going on a calorie-restriction diet with my mom when I was younger (maybe 12 0r 13). I kind of wish we had done a cabbage soup diet instead (Although I currently eat a “popcorn every day!” diet). I don’t think is was healthy for me to learn how to count calories– It definitely could have contributed in part to my difficulty with disordered eating. 🙁 But, E, you are so cute! (and this is coming from a fellow teen, not an old creep).


55 Kristen May 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I made this last night and it was indeed delicious! I wasn’t expecting it to have much flavor, but it had lots of flavor and was very filling. Will definitely make again!


56 Kimberly C. May 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

This looks crazy delicious! I remember trying to become a vegetarian when I was a teen and my stepfather wouldn’t support me, and ate all my strawberries! I’m trying to find my way back, and a recipe like this could definitely help.
Great stuff,


57 sarahf May 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Wow, this soup is awesome. The pinenuts and fresh basil really make it, I probably added more fresh basil per bowl of soup than called for, but I love it so much.. I have left over pinenuts so I think I will make another batch this week. Susan, I think you are a great mom. I have a 3.5 month old daughter and it totally scares me to death when I think about all the pressures that young girls face these days. I hope that if I have the patience and the sense to handle situations with her when she is a teen the way you handled things with your daughter.


58 Emily July 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I try to find delicious ways to cook vegetables, so that my husband and I can ease our way into a healthier lifestyle. We LOVED this recipe! Thank you for sharing this 🙂


59 Fiona September 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I didn’t have fresh basil (it’s the end of winter here in Australia and I wasn’t going to spend $4 on a tiny bunch of basil at the store) so I used dried basil and the soup came out very bland. So, to anyone who is thinking about substituting fresh basil for dried in this recipe I would definitely recommend against it. To bring up the flavor I added thyme, rosemary, a ton of no-salt added garlic and herb seasoning, as well as more basil and oregano, then added some vegan worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, and a slice of vegan sandwich meat. The sandwich meat sounds weird but added a really meaty, slightly smoky flavor to the soup. I also wanted my soup to be a bit heartier so I added 1/2 cup quinoa to the soup, and if I’d had more chickpeas around I would have added more of those too. My additions much improved the soup, but overall it was just ok. I suspect it’s probably much better with fresh basil.


60 Janers5 October 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

Just made this soup and it was so yummy! The pine nuts and basil really made the dish! Thanks a bunch, this is becoming a regular in our house for sure now!


61 Gusichka December 16, 2011 at 4:47 am

I have a slight cold and was looking for a vegy soup, this is just what i needed! Going to try both of your recipes today =)


62 Sylvia Smith January 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

sounds tasty and wise


63 Venessa April 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I think your reaction was perfect.

Every one of us is on a “diet”. In my opinion, diet is just the food we eat – some people are more concious about their diets than others are. Some people have diets full of rubbishy food and some people prefer their diets to contain nutritious healthy food.

Off to print out this soup and add it to my rotation!


64 Marian Gleason April 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

SUSAN!!! just printed out this recipe & you’ve added a photo feature – that is awesome! Can’t wait to make this for Bill & me. Bet it’s YUMBO! Oh, how I’ve missed chatting w/you this way. Been too long away from the Internet… BEST to you & YOURS! xxMarian


65 Kate April 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I love this soup! I made it twice and just can’t get enough of it. I make it with twice the tomato (a large can) and twice the cabbage and use red cabbage for gorgeous color. Thank you Susan!


66 ambrosia July 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I always make this recipe – it is fabulous. Even without the pine nuts. It gets gobbled up right away.


67 Sharon September 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm

This soup is delicious.


68 Lynn September 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I did a search for chickpeas and basil, and found you. I have basil growing wild in the back yard, and this was a great way to use some of it. I didn’t have carrots so I used the tiniest butternut squash you have ever seen, salvaged from the garden before the bugs got it. The soup was wonderful. Thank you!


69 Jennifer January 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Was looking for a vegan New Years dish and this was perfect! Used black eye peas instead of chickpeas and served with a side of flaxseed cornbread = a semi-traditional New Years meal!

Also, loved the story that went along with this. At 23, it wasn’t that long ago that I was in your daughters position surrounded by fad diets and friends trying to lose weight when they didn’t need to. So glad that you’re teaching your daughter about a healthy lifestyle that will serve her well for her entire life!


70 Hana February 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Basil?!!! I would not have thought of that, but with the tomato it would work well.

Applause for teaching your daughter to cook and sharing the kitchen with her. My grandmother taught me to cook and appreciate fine foods and wine; it was a priceless gift. My sister, who never learned to cook or savor real food, turned into an anorexic and never learned how to eat in a healthy way.

On a more cheery note, I usually make cabbage soup with grass fed lamb, but I’m trying vegetarian versions — the one I’m cooking right now has only cabbage, caramelized onions, carrots, white wine, parsley and dill. Based on your ideas I might add a tomato coulis and perhaps some cooked white beans.


71 Robin April 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I will be making tonight, for once I have all the ingredients on hand.


72 Buddy April 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I have the same story as you but with my 15 year old, 6’1″ Football player. We are now “Pescaterians” and are bonding over our new healthier lifestyle. As a single Dad with two sons (one away at college) you got to love when you can bond.

This soup will make it on our table soon.

Love your site and look at it often to help me find new meals to keep things interesting.


73 evelio June 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm

dear Susan,
Eating vegan is not a “diet”. Eating vegan is nothing more or less than natural hygiene. I think that it is self evident that people who don’t shower often or wash their hands before a meal stand a greater chance of becoming ill. It is also not hygienic to live in a dirty, cluttered, dusty home environment; likewise, it is not hygienic to fill one’s intestines with the meat and the secretions(dairy) of –often diseased and mistreated– animals.
You may tell your daughter that eating vegan is just common sense hygiene–it’s everybody else, on the contrary, that’s on some weird “diet”.
thanks for the recipe!
–buy local and organic


74 Britney August 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

Just wanted to thank you for the recipe!


75 Diane O'Callaghan April 22, 2015 at 10:06 am

I’m becoming addicted to your recipes – very best to you and your awesome daughter…..(you’re no slouch, yourself!)


76 Rebecca Finch April 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Just finished making three quarts of soup using this recipe as the base but adding many more carrots (I just had eye surgery). So delicious in addition to being nutritious. I added both thyme and rosemary in addition to the oregano to up the antioxidant content of the dish. The flavor profile of this recipe is out of sight.


77 Randy B September 30, 2015 at 4:45 pm

This looks like a similar recipe that my grandma used except she didn’t use the tomato and pine nuts. Thx


78 Susan October 25, 2015 at 8:44 pm

another tasty, easy soup recipe. I followed your recipe and also added some quinoa that I needed to do something with. Thank you Susan! Your recipes are always so reliable!


79 Paula January 11, 2016 at 12:06 am

Just made this, since we had a whole head of cabbage left over. I’m going to try adding some cumin and more garlic next time.


80 Matilda June 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

Oh, Oh, close to Heaven this soup is. I had a bowl for Breakfast and I imagine I’ll have it for my other meals today also.It is one of the absolutely best soups I’ve Had. Give your daughter E a big hug for me, I’m glad she convinced and helped you make it. Thank you, Susan and E. Matilda


81 Em October 13, 2016 at 11:47 am

I’m going to make this again- but a purple haze version. I have purple veggie broth from using purple carrots and will use purple/red cabbage and add purple carrots and purple potatoes. I will use cannellini beans because they take on the color and other than that follow the recipe as I have before and is so yummy!


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