This thick and hearty wheat berry and white bean soup with savoy cabbage is full of robust flavor and fresh wintry seasonal ingredients.
wheat berry and white bean soup with savoy cabbage

Look, you don’t love cabbage, I don’t love cabbage, nobody loves cabbage.



I know because the.boy REALLY doesn’t like cabbage and he loved it.

Not that I told him there was cabbage in it until after he licked the bowl clean…but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

And a girl’s gotta eat cabbage when the craving strikes.

As for the.boy, well…I have no idea what he thought those pale yellow shreds were as he was shoveling them into his mouth. And now I’m almost afraid to ask.


I have to be honest, even I only like cabbage in very particular circumstances.

Slaw = dry heaving. Stir fries = okay but I probably won’t go for seconds. Soups = forget a bowl, just pass me the whole pot!

It’s a texture thing.

Anyway, I’m not really sure what came over me when I saw this recipe in Vegetable Literacy, but all of a sudden I could imagine exactly what it would taste like and I needed it right that second (and no I’m not pregnant). And I was right.

It is hearty and toothsome from the white beans and wheat berries (though you could swap those our for farro, barley, or spelt berries!), but full of fresh flavor from the tomato-infused broth. And I can’t really explain what role the cabbage plays other than that you just feel good after eating a whole bowl of it. It must be the whopping vitamin C punch and cholesterol-lowering properties that it packs.

So even if the mere thought of putting a cabbage shred to your lips makes your skin crawl, I beg you to give this soup a try with the logic that, if it could win over the cabbage-hating individual that I cohabitate with…it can weasel its way into the heart of just about anyone. (And clear out their arteries in the process.)


One year ago…Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Three years ago…Cookie Dough Truffles

Four years ago…Brazilian Salmon Fish Stew

Wheat Berry, Cabbage, and White Bean Soup
This thick and hearty soup is full of robust flavor and fresh wintry seasonal ingredients.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Soak the wheat berries and white beans in water for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain and combine the wheat berries and white beans in a large pot. Cover with water by about 2-inches and add a tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for an hour or until beans are tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onion, rosemary, and carrot. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the canned tomatoes, cabbage, and 1 tsp salt. Cook until the cabbage has wilted, about 5 minutes. Add in the beans, farro, and bean cooking liquid plus enough water to equal 3 cups. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl


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59 Responses to Wheat Berry and White Bean Soup with Savoy Cabbage

  1. Monica says:

    I actually love cabbage! Well…”love” in the sense of how we loosely throw it around for foods we enjoy. : ) This looks great to me and wheat berries in a soup! Sounds good to me!

  2. Cabbage and I are quickly becoming friends. Slaws are still hit or miss for me, but cabbage soups = heaven.

  3. Barbara says:

    A great wholesome soup, Joanne, and yes, I do love cabbage. Especially Savoy. Love that you used wheatberries.

  4. Somehow, cabbage just seems to “melt” into soups, especially Savoy cabbage – this sounds so hearty and silky. I would definitely dive into this bowl!

  5. Kristi says:

    I actually don’t mind cabbage sometimes. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it in a soup, but it looks really good. I’m awalys willing to try a food cooked in a new way. Soup has not been one of those things I’ve cooked a lot of this winter, and I’m not sure why because I love soup and need it in my life.

  6. I don’t mind cabbage usually…but I really truly only like it in certain forms like you. And soup is one of them! Looks terrific!

  7. My mother recently told me I don’t eat enough cabbage (I didn’t know it was so important!) and this is going on my weekend menu. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.

  8. Teffy says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever used wheat berries to cook!
    I’m such a rice and quinoa person. Looks delicious though. Might try it with the tons of quinoa I have at home!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  9. But but buuut….I love cabbage! Sadly, the cheese stands alone in my family. So when I sauteed up some cabbage with apples and onions yesterday, it was all for me. And so would this soup. But I’m okay with that!

  10. I love soup so so much and this just sounds so warm and cozy! I always forget about cabbage!

  11. Jessie says:

    You are very good at sneaking foods into the.boy’s meals! Remind me to call on you when I’m struggling to get our kids to eat their cabbage 😉 Actually, I love cabbage in any incarnation! I’d love to try this dish with farro, mmm 🙂

  12. I love how you make things people aren’t supposed to like and make them fabulous. Love you for that!

  13. I so love cabbage in any form and this soup looks so good Joanne! I bet the textures and flavors add to a fantastic partay in the mouth!

  14. I love cabbage in soup! This soup looks fabulous and a perfect January meal!

  15. Julia says:

    I LOVE that you crave cabbage! When a craving like cabbage strikes, you’ve gotta feed the need, and once that craving has been satisfied, boy oh boy, is life wonderful! This soup looks so cooozy and filling and cabbage-y delicious! Bring on that savoy!

  16. surprisingly I love cabbage a lot in any form 🙂 I am sure I will lick this bowl clean.

  17. gloria says:

    I love cabbage in soups and stews this reminder me a plate that my mom make (from Spain)
    look sooo good!

  18. sandra says:

    I don’t know, I think I love cabbage. Am I weird?

  19. I think we are long-lost sisters separated at birth. I can’t even tell you how often I crave cabbage – at least once a week. It can get pretty ugly if I don’t get my fix, lol. This looks seriously killer.!!!

  20. Annalyn says:

    hahaha. “we are going to EAT THIS SOUP AND WE ARE GOING TO LIKE IT.”


  21. Kathryn says:

    I’m not a huge cabbage fan either but this sounds so incredibly tasty! Definitely bowl-licking worthy.

  22. I too enjoy a good hearty stew like this. Might have to substitute wheat berries with my favourite spelt or rye. Yum!

  23. Tara says:

    We use cabbage in a few of my favorite Chinese dishes!

  24. Kate says:

    Cabbage soup gets a bad rap, but when it’s not the sole ingredient, it really helps the others shine!

  25. I am the freak because I seriously love cabbage! This sounds good and like a great way to eat Savoy!

  26. Eileen says:

    I love cabbage! No, seriously, I LOVE CABBAGE, and a hearty soup like this is one of the best ever ways to eat it. Sounds so perfect for winter cozing! But I am also totally the person who will shred and saute a bunch of cabbage with garlic, toss it with pasta and almond, and sit down to lunch. And don’t get me started on coconut milk curries with cabbage! BEST.

  27. Claudia says:

    Cabbage is one of those foods that do well with others 🙂 and picks up the flavors of other veggies, herbs and spices to become something better than itself. Especially a savory soup on a chilly day. We do get those in Hawaii.

  28. Emma says:

    Haha, I just wrote a post on how much I LOVE cabbage! Especially in slaw 😉
    I bet I’d really like this hearty soup.

  29. Beth says:

    I don’t normally love cabbage, but in this? Awesome!

  30. I actually kind of love cabbage, especially in soup! This looks awesome!

  31. Susan says:

    I have to say that I love cabbage in soup! This sounds so good to me right now that I’m facing a cold salad for dinner.

  32. Excellent! I have a cabbage in the fridge just waiting for this sort of fate 🙂

  33. Megan says:

    This soup looks so hearty, and I would love the cabbage in here. I love cabbage just sautéed with onions… or stuffed cabbage. But slaw is not all that exciting to me either.

  34. Erika says:

    I love the idea of cabbage in soup. But I’m one of those strange people who love cabbage. This looks incredible. I recently got the Vegetable Literacy cookbook, there are so many amazing recipes in that book.

  35. Hannah says:

    I adore cabbage. So, yeah.

  36. Pam says:

    I made white bean soup yesterday too… it’s so comforting on these cold days. Your soup looks hearty, healthy, and super delicious!

  37. I absolutely adore raw cabbage but I’m not keen on well cooked cabbage 🙂

  38. ramblingtart says:

    I must be one of the odd ones, for I love cabbage. Love. It. 🙂 I’ve never met a cabbage I didn’t like. And this soup is heaven in a bowl. Just what I’ve been craving this week. 🙂

  39. Blond Duck says:

    I never knew wheat berries existed!

  40. I love cabbage, especially in soup. This sounds so hearty and delicious!

  41. Yes! Cabbage in soup is absolutely amazing! And can only be enhanced with white beans and wheat berries. This soup looks just like comfort in a bowl.

  42. Johanna GGG says:

    poor old cabbage – it is the cinderella of the veg kingdom – does very well in a pretty frock – or a delicious soup – but who would have thunk it

  43. cquek says:

    I love this side dish, I’m always looking for an alternative to rice and potatoes.

  44. I, on the other hand, love cabbage! Especially in soup. I always forget about wheat berries – glad you reminded me 🙂

  45. cheri says:

    I bought the cookbook and have not tried this one yet, will have to put on my list. Looks fantastic. Great pics!

  46. Hm, I never really thought about whether I loved or didn’t love cabbage. Sometimes I do get these weird cravings for it, steamed up with potatoes. So I guess I can say I do enjoy it. Something I’ve never loved…wheat berries. But I really do want to love them, and experiment with more ways to make them not so..jaw breaking. Soup sounds like the perfect mechanism!

  47. I really like cabbage, although I’m not a fan of the way it makes the house smell when I cook with it. My grandpa used to add cabbage to his beef stew and it was great! I don’t know how many other soups I’ve had that include cabbage, and this one looks wonderful!

  48. Reeni says:

    I love cabbage! I do. I really do. I did the same thing and snuck it into soup the other night. This looks warming and delicious and cozy and comforting just the way it should!

  49. Hey I do love cabbage in every form :–(
    I even eat it plain sometimes hahahaha.
    Cabbage soups are my very favorite, so I’m bookmarking this to make it oh yes!

  50. Deena kakaya says:

    Oh Joanne, I love these ingredients together, the cabbage would soak up those gorgeous juices so well xx

  51. Haley says:

    Somehow I love cabbage…
    So I guess that means I’ll really LOVE this soup!

  52. I know I am weird because I actually do love cabbage… but that just makes this soup even more appealing to me. Love!

  53. I would love this soup. I am one that loves cabbage, especially in soup.

  54. hahahaha, love that the.Boy had no clue the cabbage soup had cabbage in it! Oh boys…

  55. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    I can’t resist this bowl of soup! It looks so hearty and satisfying 🙂

  56. Katie says:

    Could you sub. canned beans and just cook the wheat berries in the broth alone, adding the beans at the end? I think I’m going to try this tonight!

  57. Beth says:

    I got a small (softball sized) cabbage in my last CSA box for the season. Even though it’s not the savoy type, do you think I could try it in this soup? This recipe sounds delicious!

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