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Purple Soup for World Cabbage Day


Sometimes when making soups, it just makes sense to consult the experts. When we went searching for a “purple” soup for “World Cabbage Day”, we found everything we were looking for in this recipe from famed British chef Gaz Oakley.

This red cabbage or “purple” soup is featured in Oakley’s book, Vegan 100, and the soup’s base of red cabbage and red onions turns into a rich and beautiful pot of purple passion. Oakley is vegan but we’re not. So we just made a couple of changes to accommodate our taste. And, in additional to balsamic vinegar and since we were adding apple anyway, we also added a little apple cider vinegar to the soup, which was fantastic. I was worried that my version would not come out a beautiful hue of purple as the chef’s but, you know what? It absolutely did and the soup was a real treat for our family.

Whether you follow Oakely’s terrific video, use his directions posted at or incorporate our slight modifications to the recipe, the soup is simply an easy pleasure to make. The outcome is positively perfect!

**Adapted from the and


Measurement Conversion Chart

For soup

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 1 large sweet apple (we used a Pink Lady)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not vegan)
  • 2 cups (470ml) almond milk (we used 2% milk)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar
  • Pinch salt and pepper

To garnish (optional)

  • Slices of apple
  • A spoonful of vegan crème fraîche
  • A sprinkling of fresh thyme
  • Chopped chives
  • Sprig of parsley
Author picture
Carolyn Moncel

Carolyn Davenport-Moncel is a digital media and communication consultant, author, mother, contrarian, book, music and reformed veggie lover and Founder and Souper-in-Chief at Simply Souperlicious, a platform devoted to helping fans "fall back in love with veggies" -- one local, seasonal, soup recipe at a time. Follow her veggie and soup journey on social media @simplysouperlicious.

by Carolyn Moncel
  • Prep 10min
  • Cook15min
  • Meal Time Lunch
  • Serves 4


  1. Peel and slice the onions roughly, but just make sure all the pieces are a similar size so they cook evenly. Peel the outer layers of the red cabbage and give it a rinse. Cut it in half, then in half again. Shred the cabbage quarters evenly. Grate the apple flesh, avoiding the bitter core.
  2. Preheat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, cabbage, and apple. Follow this with a pinch of seasoning and the thyme. Seasoning early helps build a depth of flavor.
  3. Cook for around 4 minutes, stirring often to avoid anything burning. The mixture should have halved in volume after 4 minutes. Then add the stock, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. Give everything a good stir, then pop the lid on. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then check whether the red cabbage is soft. If so, start to blend. For this type of soup, it doesn’t have to be smooth; in fact, it’s nice with a bit of texture, so, by all means, use a hand stick blender if preferred, as it’s a lot easier.
  4. Once blitzed, check one last time for seasoning. I sometimes add an additional sprinkling of cracked black pepper, as it works really well with the red cabbage. Serve the punchy peppery purple goodness topped with fresh apple slices, a spoonful of vegan crème fraîche, and a sprinkling of thyme and chives.

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