Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup


Based on a popular weight-loss plan, this healthy cabbage soup recipe gets tons of flavor and a metabolism-boosting kick from spicy chiles.

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
8 servings

How to Make Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

This spicy low-calorie soup contains plenty of flavor and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. Though fiber is well-known for its gut health benefits, it also plays a role in weight loss. Research shows that people who simply eat 30 grams of fiber each day without making any other significant changes to their diets lost just as much weight as those who follow more complicated weight-loss diets. This low-cal soup packs in nearly 9 grams of fiber per serving plus brings the metabolism-boosting heat from spicy chile peppers.

1) Pick non-starchy vegetables to add to your soup.

Outside of cabbage, of course, these can include peppers, celery, carrots and onions. These veggies don't add a lot of calories, but help fill you up on fiber which helps keep you feeling satisfied. In this version, we also add low-sodium canned beans. While not considered "non-starchy", beans add additional fiber and protein to the soup. You can leave them out to keep the calories ultra-low.

2) Bring on the heat

Studies suggest capsaicin, the antioxidant in chile peppers that gives them their heat, increases the body's metabolic rate (just a little). We think it's worth it flavor-wise to add a little zest to our soup. We use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce which are jalapeño chiles that have been smoked and canned in a flavorful sauce. They add a nice smoky flavor along with poblano peppers, which can also dial up the heat. (If you want to keep your soup mild, you can use green bell pepper in place of the poblano)

3) Go For Garnish

A garnish for soup helps tie everything together and adds fresh (or creamy) notes depending on what you use. If you have wiggle room for extra calories, crumbled cheese like queso fresco, plain Greek yogurt or diced avocado all complement this zippy soup. For the calorie-conscious, chopped cilantro, minced pepper or a squeeze of lime juice can do the trick.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 cup chopped carrot

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped poblano or green bell pepper

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 cups sliced cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium pinto or black beans, rinsed

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • Crumbled queso fresco, nonfat plain Greek yogurt and/or diced avocado for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, celery, poblano (or bell pepper) and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add cabbage; cook, stirring occasionally until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more. Add tomato paste, chipotle, cumin and coriander; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

  2. Add broth, water, beans and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve garnished with cheese, yogurt and/or avocado, if desired.

    Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

167 Calories
4g Fat
27g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
Calories 167
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 7g 13%
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Vitamin A 2969IU 59%
Vitamin C 47mg 52%
Folate 48mcg 12%
Sodium 408mg 18%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 2mg 13%
Magnesium 51mg 12%
Potassium 624mg 13%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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