Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup {Zupa z Kapusty z Kiełbasą}

I love cabbage. I love how it tastes raw, I love how it tastes fermented, I like it in soup and in salad. I like it cold or hot. I love what it does to my digestive system and it’s easy on the wallet. I’m pretty sure 99% of Poles would back me up on this one. We consume A LOT of cabbage. As a matter of fact, I remember when I was a kid, my grandma would buy a winter’s worth each year and put it in the cool basement for storage. Endless supply was readily available and would turn into delicious home-made sauerkraut for bigos, fried cabbage or gołąbki. I don’t remember ever getting sick of it either. 

This cabbage and sausage soup has many renditions. Some ingredients or spices will depend on who’s making it, so I won’t be surprised if your family made it a bit different way. Some cooks like to add potatoes to it, I sometimes do too. The amount of cabbage and sausage added may vary too. Once you make it once or twice, you’ll find the best way to suit your taste buds. If you like it meat heavy, add more sausage. If you’re OK with cabbage being the star, make that be the focus. Try my recipe, and adjust how you see fit. Mine turned out nice and balanced. Smoked sausage comes through, but it’s not overbearing. Cooked down cabbage gave out a lot of sweetness and plays well with carrots and other root veggies. Tomatoes give a nice reddish tinge and a bit of tangy flavor for a nice, well-rounded cold winter soup.

Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup {Zupa z Kapusty z Kiełbasą}

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20-30 min


  • 12-16 oz / 350 - 500 g of good quality smoked sausage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns and allspice each
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 cups of water or stock
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 celery stalks or 1/4 of a celery root, diced
  • 1 can / 14.5 oz of diced tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes or 3-4 tbs of tomato paste
  • 1/2 head of medium cabbage, chopped
  • Salt


  1. Dice or slice sausage (I like dicing, it is easier to eat later) and place in a soup pot. Sear until the edges are golden brown. Add chopped onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice. Saute until onion is cooked.

  2. Add water/stock, carrots, celery, parsnip and a bit of salt (amount will depend on whether you're using water or stock). Simmer on low for about 15-20 min, or until vegetables are soft.

  3. In the mean time, chop the cabbage. When stock is ready add cabbage and tomatoes. Boil for another 5-10 minutes, until cabbage softens. Do not overcook the cabbage. You want a bit of crunch in it.

  4. Taste and add a bit more salt, if needed.


Some people like to add potatoes to this soup. I do sometimes. Works either way. As always, soup will taste even better the next day.

I hope you give this simple soup a try.




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