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Homemade Holiday Soups

Nov 28, 2023 ● By Veronica Hinke
Christmas Cabbage Soup with Fresh Dill.

Homemade soup is a comforting, traditional meal that can help balance the many indulgent treats of the holidays. A cup of hot soup can also serve as the perfect light bite between the many rich and heavy meals of the season, or a flavorful evening snack following appetizer-only gatherings.

Christmas Cabbage Soup and ‘Violet’ Cauliflower Soup are both made with nutritious ingredients that are also prepared attractively to make them crave-worthy eats. Make by the stock pot to have some on hand to heat on the stove when holiday guests drop by. The bright colors of the ingredients add festive flair to a quick lunch break during holiday shopping or to the first course of an elaborate meal.


Christmas Cabbage Soup

Red cabbage is a strong source of potassium, fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin C. Beets provide potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B6 and C. Red cabbage gets its purple color from anthocyanins, which support cardiovascular health.

Since the 1980s, cabbage soup has been a popular post-holiday detox trend. However, no need to wait until after the holidays to enjoy the sweet, yet savory flavors of late fall ingredients. This cabbage soup puts a celebratory color on a holiday table. It is even more stunning with a crisp green garnish of fresh dill sprigs.


Yield: 4 servings


1½ Tbsp butter (or plant-based butter)

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ small red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 large carrots, cleaned, peeled
    and thinly sliced

2 large celery sticks, cleaned and
    thinly sliced

3 medium beets, cleaned, peeled and diced

1 medium russet potato, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 can crushed tomatoes

8 cups vegetable stock

½ Tbsp sugar (optional)

4 Tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

1 Tbsp pink Himalayan sea salt

1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper

½ cup non-dairy sour cream

½ cup fresh dill, chopped


Place a heavy Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat on the stovetop, and melt butter with olive oil.

Place cabbage, carrots, celery, beets, potatoes and onions in Dutch oven, and sauté until the onions are translucent, approximately 20 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, sugar and vinegar.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Boil all ingredients in the Dutch oven for about one minute, then lower the flame to low.

Place a lid on the Dutch oven and let it all simmer for about 1 hour.

Add sugar, if desired, and simmer for another 20 minutes.

To serve, pour the soup into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl of soup with a small dollop of the non-dairy sour cream and a sprinkling of dill.



‘Violet’ Cauliflower Soup

Like red cabbage, violet (or purple) cauliflower, also gets its vibrant color from anthocyanins. This cruciferous vegetable also provides calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and vitamins B6 and C.

While some cauliflower soups taste best if the cauliflower is first roasted before being added to the soup, this recipe features fresh cauliflower to retain as much of its beautiful, bright color as possible.

Fresh, minced garlic brings another flavor layer to this otherwise rather one-note soup. Add further complexity if desired with a garnish of toasted nuts and fresh chives, tarragon or basil. Purple basil ties in best with the attractive base color of the soup, but use what is available. Bright green herbs add a nice subtle touch of seasonal colors. Crispy fried shallots are also delicious as a topping for this soup. Include enough to get a tiny bit of fresh herbs in every delicious bite.


Yield: 4 servings


2 Tbsp butter (or plant-based butter)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ red onion, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

3 heads violet (purple) cauliflower, chopped
    (use regular cauliflower if purple variety is not available)

2 cups vegetable broth

Pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 bunches tarragon

Toasted pine nuts or candied walnuts
    (enough to sprinkle on top of each bowl of soup)


Place a heavy Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat on the stovetop, and melt butter with olive oil; add onion and garlic.

Add cauliflower. Sauté until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Add broth.

Add salt and pepper.

Cook until well-heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pulse in blender, or use an immersion blender, until well blended, about 6 pulses.

Ladle into soup bowls, holiday mugs or pretty cups. Garnish with nuts and tarragon leaves.


Veronica Hinke is an author, speaker, journalist, coach and expert on early 20th-century drinking, dining and style. She is the author of The Last Night on the Titanic; Titanic: The Official Cookbook; and Harry Potter: Afternoon Tea Magic. Learn more at