Indian-spiced Cabbage and Onion Soup

Yield: Serves 6

While there are some things that go along with tightened purse strings that aren’t too fun, like not being able to go out for lavish dinners or realizing that you should probably return that gold lamé three piece suit you bought at Holt Renfrew on Boxing Day, it’s always exciting to sharpen your economic cooking skills!

The best thing about making soup is that it’s rarely expensive and here are two examples of big batch soups that can get you through plenty of lunches or dinners this month.


2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ head green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 dried bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp coriander seeds

8 cups (2 L) vegetable broth

1 cup (240 mL) water

1 cup basmati rice

2 Tbs Indian lime pickle (available at most major grocers)

1½ Tbs (22 mL) white wine vinegar

1 Tbs (15mL) honey

To taste salt and pepper


  1. Heat canola oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add ground spices and cabbage, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the next six ingredients and let mixture come to a simmer. Reduce to medium heat, cover and let cook for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves, add basmati rice, lime pickle, vinegar and honey, and continue to simmer until the rice has cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with toasted naan bread on the side.

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