Tuscan Red Cabbage Soup with Beans

Ancient Tuscan beans and red cabbage soup recipe – this recipe has more than 100 years old history. Naturally creamy, hearty and so delicious this soup is perfect for colder months of the year.

Tuscan red cabbage soup with

There are many versions of the traditional Tuscan beans soup across the globe, even across Italy. Throughout the years however, the heart of this popular meal has been preserved – mix of vegetables (mainly cabbage), cooked in oil and creamed with some white beans. If you like beans, check out my Instant pot white beans soup recipe – it can be prepared on the stove as well.

The Original Italian Recipe – History

Some say, the original recipe of the popular Tuscan soup goes back to 1891 and the publication of the book Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, by Italian author Pellegrino Artusi. Ever since the recipe was 1st publish, it has seen many alternations and modification from home cooks and restaurants across the globe.

That is understandable as humans adapted modern ways of preparing their meals. Fire was replaced by stoves, microwaves, multicookers and many other gadgets. Also ingredients have been replaced with whatever available or appropriate at the time.

The original recipe of the Italian cook master Pellegrino Artusi includes ingredients like green cabbage, chard, pork belly or ham rinds cut into strips and soft brown bread. No broth or cream as we usually add to soups in modern times, just pure water.

I have made some alternations in my recipe, as you can see below, to reflect what my family likes. However, please feel free to add more or less products to your meal as well. Do not forget to let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Cannellini beans – canned or precooked
  • Oil – olive oil, extra virgin
  • Cabbage – red cabbage in this case. Change to green or white cabbage if desired.
  • Kale, chopped – I use frozen prechopped kale in most cases as Kale is a seasonal produce in Europe and isn’t sold all year round
  • Potato – chopped in small chunks
  • Onion – yellow, red or fresh spring onion work well
  • Spices salt and pepper to taste, sweet paprika for the beans
  • Water – or substitute broth / water plus stock cube
  • Soft brown bread – for serving, optional

How to make Tuscan red cabbage soup

Making this Italian style soup is easy.

  1. Sauté vegetables
  2. Sauté beans in some oil and spices. Blend half of the beans to make soup naturally creamier (optional)
  3. Combine all and let simmer until cooked on the stove

Remove from stove and serve!

Tuscan red cabbage soup with


Tuscan red cabbage soup with

Tuscan Red Cabbage Soup with Beans

The European Dish
Easy creamy Italian red cabbage soup with cannellini beans and handful of vegetables. Quick, one pot soup for the whole family with a history of more than 100 years.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine European, Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 250 g cannellini beans canned or precooked
  • 200 g red cabbage chopped in stripes
  • 100 g kale chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large potato finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1,5 liter water (broth) or more as needed
  • 100 g ham strips optional


  • In a small sauce pan add 1 tbsp. olive oil, paprika and half can of cannellini beans. Sauté for a few minutes until beans while stirring. Then puree the beans and set aside.
  • Cut all vegetables and sauté in remaining olive oil for 5-10 minutes on low heat. Then, add remaining cannellini beans, broth/water, salt and black pepper and bring to a boil. Let simmer until cooked.
  • Remove from stove and add previously pureed beans. Stir well to combine and serve with some chopped ham (optional) and some (stale) bread.


  • Beans are used as natural thickener of soup. 
  • Adjust soup thickness by adding more/less liquid.
  • Soup (and all vegetables) may have lilac-brownish color which is a natural process when cooking with red cabbage.
Keyword gluten-free, one pot, quick and easy dinner, vegan, vegetarian
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