Savoy Cabbage Soup with Grünkern

Savoy Cabbage Soup with Grünkern

Cabbage soup. With it's smokey, rich flavors you'll never believe it is vegetarian. Healthy, easy and delicious. 

Course Soup
Cuisine German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 274 kcal
Author Elle


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 500 g shredded savoy cabbage (ca. 700 g head)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Grünkern (175 g)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (1,25 L)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Grated parmesan, as garnish


  1. Trim the end and remove any wilted outer leaves from the cabbage. Place the cabbage on a chopping board and cut directly down through the middle of the head, then quarter the cabbage. Cut away the hard core and finely chop it (it will be cooked with the onions). Cut the leaves into fine shreds or thin ribbons. Wash well to remove any grits of soil.
  2. Heat the butter in a large non-stick pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion and chopped cabbage core, a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften but is not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage leaves and thyme sprigs. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot and let it steam for 10 minutes, then toss the cabbage to combine with other ingredients. Continue to cook, covered, until the cabbage is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium and add the dry Grünkorn. Toast it, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Careful not to let it burn.
  5. As soon as the cabbage is tender, stir in the vinegar, and add the toasted Grünkorn and the broth. Increase heat, and bring the mixture to a light simmer and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until the Grünkorn is tender. If needed, add another 1/2 cup (125 ml) broth or water to the soup. Remove the thyme sprig. Stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Feel free to add a splash more red vinegar, if desired.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish each with grated parmesan.
  7. Enjoy!


I used butter for a little extra richness, but olive oil can be used if desired.