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German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat


A typical German soup with savoy cabbage, ground meat and potatoes, a comforting and delicious cabbage soup recipe, perfect for the cold winter days.




German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat and Potatoes


After the Chinese inspired Quick and Spicy Mushroom Egg Noodle Soup and the Indian inspired Spicy Yellow Split Lentils and Beef Soup with Vegetables, I have a German soup for you today, this German cabbage soup with ground meat and potatoes.

Like mentioned above this is a typical German soup made with cabbage, ground meat and potatoes, there are many similar recipes to be found in the German kitchen, made with white cabbage, pointed cabbage or German kale.

I have tried many of these soups during the past years spent in Germany and I must say I love all of them. There is something so comforting about a good, hot soup with ground meat and soft potatoes, don’t you think? And cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables anyway…

A soup I would only eat in autumn and winter, I think, when it is really cold outside, nothing for the sunny days.

In summer I would rather eat other kinds of soups, lighter ones, something like this Fish Soup with Potatoes and Garlic Sauce or this Delicious Romanian Spinach Dill Soup with Omelet.


German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat and Potatoes




Savoy cabbage:

Savoy cabbage is a very popular sort of cabbage in Germany, you can buy it just about anytime and anywhere, it is cheap and there are many traditional German recipes made with savoy cabbage. For instance these amazing stuffed savoy cabbage rolls, so very German and so delicious!

Or this less typical but equally delicious dish: Risotto Savoy Cabbage “Cake”.

Savoy cabbage has a curly appearance, emerald green, crunchy and tender leaves. I would say it is the prettiest sort of cabbage.

The cabbages we can buy here are huge, one head of savoy cabbage would be way too much for this soup. To make things easier, I weighed the cabbage I used, it was less than half a cabbage, about 450 g/ 1 lb.

Black pepper:

The only thing I feel that I still have to mention is that you should be generous with the freshly ground black pepper, the German cabbage soup should be a bit spicy and you should be able to taste that black pepper.

I think that is an important part of this recipe, you should really feel the black pepper on your tongue.



German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat and Potatoes



This savoy cabbage soup is very easy to make, a one-pot affair so to say, the only “challenging” part of it being chopping all those vegetables.

Once you’ve done that, there is not much work left to do actually. Just throw everything in the pot, following the indicated succession and wait for the soup to be done.

You can serve the soup either as it is or with a dollop of crème fraiche/smetana/sour cream.

The German savoy cabbage soup can be reheated, it tastes even better the next day.


German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat and Potatoes



Other delicious cabbage recipes:

Easy Cabbage Noodles with Sour Cream and Dill
Simple and Spicy Cabbage Turmeric Stew – Vegan Recipe
Risotto Savoy Cabbage “Cake” with Caramelized Carrots
Camembert Cabbage Slices au Gratin with Walnuts
Savoy Cabbage Pie




german savoy cabbage soup with ground meat


German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat and Potatoes

German Savoy Cabbage Soup with Ground Meat

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A typical German soup with savoy cabbage, ground meat and potatoes, a comforting and delicious cabbage soup recipe, perfect for the cold winter days.


  • 450 g/ 1 lb savoy cabbage, about ½ a not very large cabbage
  • 450 g/ 1 lb potatoes
  • 75 g/ 2.7 oz smoked streaky bacon, preferably one thicker piece
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 450 g/ 1 lb ground meat (half beef, half pork)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot ground paprika
  • 2 liter/ 4.2 pints/ 8.5 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small bunch of chives
  • crème fraiche/smetana/sour cream to serve, optional


  1. Chop the savoy cabbage into small pieces. Cut the potatoes into small cubes.
  2. Chop the bacon and the onion finely as well.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom soup pot. Add the bacon and the onion to the pot and let cook until the onion is translucent and some of the bacon fat has rendered. Add the ground meat and cook until brown, stirring and breaking the lumps in between.
  4. Add both sorts of ground paprika, salt and pepper and stir well.
  5. Add the savoy cabbage, potatoes and beef or vegetable broth to the soup pot. Stir well, cover leaving a small crack open and let cook on medium low heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Adjust the taste with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired.
  8. The soup can be reheated, it tastes even better the next day.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the soup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 658mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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Sunday 15th of November 2020

Hi Adina, I made this soup tonight and it was so tasty!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I made some changes, due to lack of ingredients. So, I didn't have mince, so instead I used sausage meat (swiss farmer sausage). And I used a mix of smoked paprika, sweet paprika and cayenne pepper. I added a little crushed fennel seed too. We will be making this soup a lot this autumn and winter


Monday 16th of November 2020

Hi Barbara. Thank you for the feedback. Sausages are a great substitution and I love the fact that you used fennel seeds, they are amazing. I also often use them for soups and when making Spanish meatballs, they add a flavor that is just out of this world. I will add them to the cabbage soup as well next time.

Christina Turpin

Sunday 23rd of September 2018

It looks absolutely fantastic! Can't wait for a cold day to try to make in in sunny Las Vegas!


Sunday 23rd of September 2018

Thank you Christina. Sunny Las Vegas sounds great, here has been so cold lately, time to eat lots of soups again.


Sunday 7th of January 2018

I always love to learn a new way to use ground meat! And I don't think I've had it in a soup yet... This soup looks wonderful and I am glad to see someone else emphasising the importance of a big amount of pepper in certain dishes: I know many dishes that must be spicy especially from the pepper but some people don't understand why...


Tuesday 9th of January 2018

German cuisine is full of soups featuring ground meat, very hearty and delicious all of them. And many of these thick soups need a lot of pepper, chili is not very typical for old German recipes, so they had to rely on pepper for some spiciness. And it is really a different taste you get, nothing like when using chili.


Saturday 6th of January 2018

This looks so good! I love when soups come out a bit spicy, it helps a lot more to eat them on a cold weather for sure!. From the instructions, it does seem pretty simple to make. I would have to try this one day. Thanks for sharing!


Saturday 6th of January 2018

Thank you, Paul. I hope you will like it! :)