Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (2024)

“Cabbage soup? Gross!” is the general response when the topic of this 19th Century Danish food classic, “Skærtorsdag søbekål,” is broached. But if you know how to make it right, cabbage soup can be a delicious (and highly nutritious!) meal.

The Thursday before Easter is called Skærtorsedag, and it’s a public holiday despite most Danes not celebrating it in a traditional or religious sense. In English, it’s called “Maundy Thursday,” and commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. In the 19th Century, this was a big deal. And what better way to celebrate a big deal day than with a nine-cabbage soup? Ja?

Also known as Skærtorsdag søbekål, the soup was eaten because it was packed with nutrients that would ensure health for the coming year. As a bonus, the soup would ward off evil demons (and the soup was probably capable of warding off many other things. Toot toot!)

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (1)Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (2)

Skærtorsdag søbekål is made with seven or nine kinds of cabbage (due to superstition), or an odd number of different greens if cabbage was too difficult to obtain. But: NINE kinds of cabbage?! Is this even possible? If you include cabbage cousins broccoli, brussels sprouts and the gang, it is! I enlisted the culinary skills of chef Albin Blomkvist to create a recipe with greens and marrow that is super healthy. Albin not only did this, but also produced a soup that actually looked and tasted good; now that’s culinary skill!

Try this delicious and nutritious cabbage soup recipe, remixed from the 19th century Danish classic:

9 cabbage soup – Skærtorsdag Søbekål

Serves 4


1. 1 head of White cabbage
2. 1 head of Savoy cabbage
3. 1/2 head of Pointy red cabbage
4. Black kale / Cavolo nero
5. Green kale
6. 1/2 head of Cauliflower
7. 8-12 Brussel Sprouts
8. 1 head of Broccolini
9. 1/2 head of Romanesco

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (3)


4-6 kg of Pork bones (nøgleben)
2 Shallots
Sea salt

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (4)

What you need

  • A large pot
  • A small pot
  • Frying pan
  • Ice bath
  • Chopping knife and/or food processor
  • Hand blender
  • Optional: food dehydrator


Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (5)Roast your pork bones at 180 degrees celsius for approximately 30 minutes, or until thoroughly roasted and dark brown.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (6)Dice two larger shallots and saute them in a large pot. When the onions are just starting to caramelize, add your roasted pork bones to the pot.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (7)Add cold water until it barely covers the bones. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Have a ladle ready to skim off any foam that forms on the top. This is the stock for your soup.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (8)Add a handful of thyme. Optional: add a diced apple, dash of white wine or chopped and sauteed garlic.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (9)Let your stock simmer for at least 30 minutes before straining the liquid into another pot. Let the liquid reduce until you have a taste and thickness that you’re happy with. This is going to be the base of your soup, so you’ll want strong flavors.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (10)Using a knife, mandolin slicer or food processor, shred the white and savoy cabbages. Add the shredded cabbage to the stock and let it simmer.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (11)Now it’s time to process the other vegetables. Leaving out the brussel sprouts, chop all your remaining vegetables to bite size pieces. Drop the pieces into boiling, salted water. After 10-20 seconds, remove and drop them into iced water for the same amount of time as blanching (10 – 20 seconds). This will immediately stop the cooking process and keep your vegetables at the perfect texture. Once vegetables are blanched, put aside.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (12)Halve the brussel sprouts and fry them on the cut side in a thin layer of olive oil. Remove from frying pan and put aside, combining them with the blanched vegetables.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (13)Brush the blanched cavolo nero (black kale) generously with olive oil and bake on a tray at 120 degrees celcius for 10 minutes or until crispy. You can also do this in a food dehydrator overnight if you’re very fancy. Once done, remove from baking tray and combine with all other vegetables.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (14)By the time you have your other vegetables ready, the savoy and white cabbage should be cooked. Make sure of this by pressing some of the shredded vegetables against the side of the pot to see how easily the pieces break. When the fibers of the cabbage are broken down so that they pieces easily come apart, use your hand blender until the ingredients are smooth.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (15)If the soup is too thick, just add a splash of water or milk. When the consistency is to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (16)Layer and mix your seven different kinds of cabbage in the bottom of your bowl, then pour the stock into the bowl along the side. This way you have a soup base with all your favorite kinds of perfectly cooked kale and cabbage in the middle.

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (17)Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (18)

Now enjoy your cabbage soup! Toot toot!

Danish Recipe Remix: 19th Century Nine-Cabbage Soup (2024)


How long does cabbage soup last in the fridge? ›

Storing cabbage soup:

To store this soup, let it cool entirely before storing it in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.

Can you drink coffee on the cabbage soup diet? ›


DRINKS: Stick with water, unsweet tea, black coffee, unsweetened juices, cranberry juice, or skim milk. Black coffee is permitted, but you may find that you no longer need the caffeine after the third day.

What does cabbage soup contain? ›

Now even if all you have in your fridge is some cabbage, there are only a few more pantry ingredients you need to make this easy, nourishing, and light cabbage soup. To make this simple cabbage soup you only need fresh cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and a few spices.

What is the 4 day cabbage soup diet? ›

Cabbage Soup Diet guidelines and daily meal plan
  1. Day 1: Unlimited cabbage soup and fruit but no bananas.
  2. Day 2: Only soup and vegetables with a focus on raw or cooked leafy greens. ...
  3. Day 3: Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want in addition to the soup. ...
  4. Day 4: Unlimited bananas, skim milk, and cabbage soup.

Does cabbage soup burn belly fat? ›

The cabbage soup diet has been used as a rapid weight-loss plan for decades. And while following it will likely result in weight loss, the results may be fleeting, and participants may not experience a significant reduction in fat mass and body fat percentage like they might with a gradual weight-loss program.

How many times a day can you eat cabbage soup? ›

Because cabbage soup is very low in calories, there is no limit to how much a person may consume while following this diet. Most people will need at least two bowls per day for the week to avoid feeling excessively hungry.

How many times a day do you eat cabbage soup to lose weight? ›

Just like the name says, the bulk of this diet is fat-free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day with other allowed foods assigned each day.

Why do you lose so much weight on cabbage soup diet? ›

The cabbage soup diet stimulates the body's metabolism and fat mobilization. This diet limits your calorie intake and causes your body to burn fat for energy. Low sodium, low calories, and high fiber allow you to lose weight faster if you followed a reasonable long-term dietary plan.

What can you not eat on a cabbage soup diet? ›

You cannot eat (or drink) any food or beverage that is not on the 7-day cabbage soup meal plan. This includes alcohol, most grains and bread products, sugary drinks and fruit juices, and high-fat foods.

Why does my cabbage soup taste so bland? ›

Not Adding Acid

If a soup is tasting bland in the bowl, consider adding acid rather than salt. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a dash of yogurt or sour cream can add brightness to the bowl.

Can you drink water on the cabbage soup diet? ›

Eat only soup and fruit. Drink unsweetened tea and coffee. (Stick with water, unsweetened fruit juice and cranberry juice, but no diet soda, no carbonated beverages, no alcohol.)

What are the side effects of the Cabbage Soup Diet? ›

Gas, Abdominal Pain and Bloating

For this reason, it is no surprise that gas, bloating and abdominal pain are common reported side effects of the Cabbage Soup Diet. Symptoms vary in severity and frequency, depending upon how much cabbage soup you consume and your sensitivity to gas-causing substances in cabbage.

How to lose 10 pounds in a week? ›

To lose 10 pounds in one week, you'll need to burn between 3,500 and 5,000 calories more than you consume each day by restricting your diet to small portions of nutritious yet low-calorie foods, and significantly increasing your aerobic exercise with interval training, sports, and other vigorous activities.

Can you eat too much cabbage? ›

While cabbage offers lots of vitamins and minerals your body needs, there can be a downside to eating cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. It's best to slowly introduce these vegetables into your diet and gradually increase your intake.

Can I eat soup after 7 days? ›

Originally Answered: How long can you keep a soup in the fridge? According to the FDA food code you should keep prepared foods for no longer then 4 days and manufactured foods for 7 days. If you prepare the soup at home and cook and cool the ingredients I would recommend 4 days at 41 degrees F or below.

Can I eat cabbage soup for a week? ›

Eating cabbage soup for a week may help you lose weight, as long as you follow a balanced diet and regular exercise plan. Research suggests that cabbage soup can provide essential vitamins and minerals while helping to reduce overall calorie intake.

How long until cabbage soup goes bad? ›

When does Cabbage Soup expire? Once made, cabbage soup can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If it's store-bought and unopened, it can typically last up to 1-2 years past the printed date as long as it's not stored in extreme temperatures. However, once opened, it should be consumed within 3-4 days.

Is cooked cabbage good after 5 days? ›

Cover and refrigerate cooked cabbage within two hours of cooking and use within 3-5 days. If the cabbage is part of mixed dish like cabbage rolls, store covered in the fridge and use within 3-4 days. Freeze fresh or cooked cabbage in airtight containers or freezer bags for 10-12 months.


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