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Polish Red Cabbage Soup Recipe – Zupa Z Czerwonej Kapusty

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Polish red cabbage soup with sour cream and walnuts.

Cabbage is a popular ingredient in Polish cuisine. Red cabbage however is less common than white cabbage. Despite not being so easily available, red cabbage is still used in a number of dishes. 

One of the popular dishes that you will find in Polish households is the Polish red cabbage soup or Zupa Z Czerwonej Kapusty as it is called in Poland. It is a remarkably easy recipe and the red cabbage gives it a really intriguing color. There is also a subtle difference in taste as compared to white cabbage. In fact, this recipe is remarkably similar to the famous kapuśniak!

In case you are looking for other Polish recipes that include red cabbage, try my red cabbage salad recipe. We love adding red cabbage to salads not just because of the flavor but also because of the vibrant and attractive color that it adds to the mix.

Cabbage In Polish Cuisine

Red cabbage

You probably have noticed that cabbage is very popular in Polish cuisine. This is because the vegetable is very accessible, has a long shelf life and is relatively cheap. Cabbage is also remarkably versatile. Individual leaves can be used as wrappings like in the Keto Gołąbki and traditional Polish Gołąbki recipes.

It can also be used with minced meat when making Polish cabbage meatballs. There are so many such recipes. This versatility makes it a very popular ingredient in Polish households. 

In addition to this, cabbage has a high fiber content which is good for your gut. This is why it is extremely filling. It is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate. This makes it a great option for people with heart conditions.

Polish Red Cabbage Soup Recipe – Zupa Z Czerwonej Kapusty

Part I – Wash And Finely Chop One Small Cabbage

Part II – Peel One Carrot, Parsley, And Celery

Peel a carrot, one parsley root, and one small celery root. You can also swap the parsley with parsnip in case parsley isn’t available. Dice the ingredients and set them aside.

The ingredients for Polish red cabbage soup
The ingredients for Polish red cabbage soup.

Part III – Place The Vegetables To Boil

Mix the cabbage, carrot, parsley, and celery together in a pot. Add 12 cups of water to the pot and boil. The vegetables should be cooked till they are soft.

Boil the vegetables for Polish re cabbage soup.
Boil the vegetables for Polish re cabbage soup.

Part IV – Peel And Dice An Onion

Part V – Dice A Sausage And Leek

For this recipe, we will use 7 oz. of kielbasa which is a Polish sausage. The sausage is packed with flavor and it really transforms the soup.

Part VI – Fry The Onion, Leek, And Sausages

Add 3 tbsps. of oil to a pan and heat. Fry the onions till they are translucent. Add in the sausages and the leek. Fry well for about 10 minutes.

Fry the sausage for Polish red cabbage soup.
Fry the sausage for Polish red cabbage soup.

Part VII – Add The Fried Sausage Mixture To The Soup

Once the vegetables are soft, add the fried sausage mixture to the broth. The fragrance and flavor of the sausages will combine with the vegetable broth to give you that unique but well-known taste.

Part VIII – Peel And Dice An Apple And Add It To The Soup

Part IX – Season With Salt And Pepper

Part X – Serve Hot With Sour Cream And Chopped Nuts

Polish red cabbage soup tastes best served hot.
Polish red cabbage soup tastes best served hot.

FAQ About Polish Red Cabbage Soup

I Can’t Get Red Cabbage, Can I Substitute It With White Cabbage?

While the Polish red cabbage soup works best with red cabbage, you can swap it out with white cabbage. The difference between the two dishes will be largely related to the color. There is a marginal difference in taste but it is barely noticeable.

Is Polish Red Cabbage Soup The Same As Borscht?

No. Polish red cabbage soup is very different from borscht. While this soup also has a vibrant color, the borscht recipe uses beetroot. Some recipes may use white cabbage in it but most do not.

I Don’t Have Kielbasa Can I Make The Soup Without Sausage?

While you can make Polish red cabbage soup without sausage, the Kielbasa is a very important part of the recipe. I would suggest trying to use another variant of sausage that is accessible. This will give the soup a meaty texture. 

Yield: 12 servings

Polish Red Cabbage Soup Recipe - Zupa Z Czerwonej Kapusty

Polish red cabbage soup with sour cream and walnuts.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root or parsnip
  • 1 small celery root
  • ½ of small leek
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 7 oz (200g) of kiełbasa (Polish sausage)
  • 3 tbsps of oil
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of ground pepper
  • sour cream and nuts to serve


  1. Wash and finely chop the cabbage.
  2. Peel the carrot, parsley, and celery root, then dice them.
  3. Cover the veggies with 12 cups (3 liters) of water and cook until soft.
  4. Peel and dice an onion.
  5. Dice sauasge and leek.
  6. Fry onion, leek, and sausage with 3 tbsps of oil for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add them to the soup when the veggies are soft.
  8. Peel and dice an apple, then add it to the soup.
  9. Season with salt and pepper
  10. Serve hot with sour cream and chopped nuts.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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