Swedish Cabbage Soup with Meatballs

January/February 1993

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (12 votes)

A slightly sweetened chicken broth gives this cabbage soup its delicate flavor. Make it a meal: Swedish rye crisps are the perfect accompaniment.

"This has become a staple winter dish for my family and friends. Even skeptics, once trying it, begged for the recipe. Its a winner - and even though the meatballs are so easy to make, I sometimes speed things up by using frozed turkey...
Swedish Cabbage Soup with Meatballs

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes (12 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons golden cane syrup, or dark corn syrup
  • 8 ounces ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add cabbage and sauté until cabbage starts to release some of its liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add syrup. Simmer, uncovered, until the cabbage is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine turkey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. With wet hands, shape mixture into meatballs the size of marbles. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Add broth and bay leaves to the cooked cabbage. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Drop the meatballs into the soup and simmer until they are no longer pink inside, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Season the soup with salt and a generous grinding of pepper before serving.


Per serving: 168 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 37 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 4 g fiber; 450 mg sodium; 350 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (92% daily value), Folate (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

January/February 1993
Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner