Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup

4.61 from 33 votes
1 hour 15 minutes
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Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup is the perfect hearty meal for a winter night!  With lots of vegetables, potatoes and kielbasa in a spicy, tomatoey broth, it’s sure to warm you down to your toes!

Photo of Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup in white Dutch oven with ladle.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Whenever I return home from visiting my 92-year-old father in Wisconsin as I did for Christmas, I crave something old-world, simple yet hearty.  I love to sit and listen to him tell stories about growing up and about times that were difficult but simple.

In today’s crazy world, I often crave “simple.”

I love all my modern conveniences like my smartphone and computer so I prefer to live in the here and now.  However, it’s fun to go back in time with recipes like this hearty farm-inspired Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup.

This soup has all the comforts of home!

  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage and other vegetables like onion, celery and carrots
  • Kielbasa (use traditional pork, beef or for a more healthful touch–turkey kielbasa)
  • A spicy, tomatoey broth seasoned with classic herbs and spices
  • A splash of cider vinegar to make it all pop!
Photo of Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup in white enameled Dutch oven with ladle in the soup and bread scattered around.

How to make Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup:

First, gather and prep all the ingredients:

  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Kielbasa
  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Canned crushed tomatoes plus some water to rinse out the can
  • Red potatoes
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried marjoram
  • Hungarian paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Chopped parsley
  • Cider vinegar


  • Kielbasa: Also known as Polish sausage which is generally made with pork. You can also use smoked sausage, beef sausage or turkey kielbasa.
  • Beef Broth: Using beef broth adds an additional depth of flavor, but you can use all chicken broth or even vegetable broth if you prefer.
  • Red Potatoes: I like to use red potatoes because they’re “waxy” and not starchy like Russets. Because of the high starch content, Russets tend to fall apart. Red potatoes and even Yukon Gold potatoes keep their shape better in soup.
  • Marjoram: Marjoram is an herb used in many meat dishes and stews in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine but is also quite popular in Polish cuisine. If you don’t have or prefer not to buy, substitute oregano but cut the amount of oregano in half as it’s stronger than marjoram.
  • Hungarian Paprika: Hungarian paprika is made from toasted peppers and then blended to create different varieties. All Hungarian paprikas have a rich, sweet red pepper flavor however they all range in pungency and heat.

There’s not much to it!

  • Chop the veggies:  Onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cabbage.
  • Add the cabbage, kielbasa and seasonings.
  • Add the potatoes.
  • Simmer until it’s all tender.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley because all soups need something green and fresh at the end.
  • Throw in a splash of cider vinegar.  A little splash of vinegar makes the whole soup SING!
Photo of two servings of Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup in white bowls.
  • Ladle it into bowls and garnish with more fresh parsley.
  • Serve with crusty bread and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a simpler era!  Old-Fashioned Potato, Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup is perfect for when you’ve had a super-stressful day!
Photo of one serving of Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup in white bowl with gray napkin and bread.

This recipe makes enough to feed the family down the street, too!  It freezes beautifully so it’s perfect to have on hand all winter long!

Photo of one serving of Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup in white bowl with soup spoon on the side.

Want some more old-fashioned soup goodness?  Be sure to check out my:

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Old Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup - Overhead shot of soup in white Dutch oven with ladle scooping out soup

Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup

4.61 from 33 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Old-Fashioned Potato Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup is the perfect hearty meal for a winter night! With lots of vegetables, potatoes and kielbasa in a spicy, tomatoey broth, it’s sure to warm you down to your toes!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Polish
Servings 10
Calories 114 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots - halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage - sliced
  • 2 packages (14-ounces each) kielbasa - (pork, beef or turkey), halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) beef broth
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes - plus 1/2 cup water to rinse out the can
  • 1 pound small red new potatoes - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar - optional, see note


  • Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven or other large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring often or until onion is beginning to soften.
  • Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue cooking, stirring often or until vegetables are softened.
  • Add the cabbage and kielbasa and cook 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, water from rinsing the can, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, marjoram and paprika. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low then add the cubed potatoes.
  • Simmer over medium-low to low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a paring knife.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper if desired.
  • Stir in parsley and cider vinegar (if needed).


Whether the soup needs the vinegar at the end depends on the tomatoes. The kielbasa I used had “sweetness” to it and the cider vinegar helped balance out the flavors. Taste and decide!
MAKE AHEAD:  The flavor of this soup only gets better after a day or two.  Cool and refrigerate.  Reheat in the Dutch oven over medium heat until the soup is heated through and is simmering.  If reheating smaller portions, reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Freeze in airtight containers for 2-3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 604mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4377IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.61 from 33 votes (29 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Really flavorful and hearty and cooks relatively quickly. Looking forward to freezing some and taking to work for lunch.

  2. 5 stars
    My Polish husband loves cabbage soup, so I tried your recipe and the added flavors from red pepper flakes and the vinegar was amazing. It is going to be our go to from here on in. Wonderful!!!

  3. My aunt made this soup often and gave me her recipe 44 years ago. She added rutabaga with the carrots and potatoes and it is wonderful! I usually use beef broth instead of chicken but I have used both when trying to use them up! Such a good soup for a cold evening! Making it tonight!

    1. Hi, Carolyn, Thanks so very much! Love the idea of adding rutabaga or even using rutabaga instead of the potatoes; such an underappreciated vegetable. How wonderful to still have your aunt’s recipe and still be making it after all these years–what a treasure! Thanks again for getting in touch!

    1. Hi, Maggie, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, this will freeze and reheat just fine. The potatoes may be a little softer but that can be offset just by not overcooking them when making the soup. Cool it down well so you don’t get ice crystals in the container from condensation which can affect the flavor. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  4. Very very good! Will be making it again. Didn’t change a thing! Little spicy for people who are picky about that kind of thing.

    1. Hi, Danielle, Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed! Yeah, some people can’t even handle black pepper. As a personal chef, I know that to be true so recipes just have to be adjusted to taste. Thanks again!

    1. Hi, David, Thanks so much for your question. I don’t see why you can’t. The soup may be thinner with the tomato juice as the crushed tomatoes are going to add a little more body. If you don’t mind that, absolutely! Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

      1. After I put in the chicken stock, my pot (largest I had) there was no room for the juice. Potatoes, corn, green beans, and all of your recipe, it came out absolutley awsome. Thanks for a great article.

      2. Hi, Dave, Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed! Love that you made the recipe your own. Thanks again and hope you’ll try some of my other soup recipes.

    1. Hi, Cindy, Thanks so much for your question. I use Hillshire Farm Kielbasa as it’s readily available in most areas. If you have access to the fresh, I’d definitely use it! I remember having it as a kid that my grandmother made and was the best thing ever! Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  5. Very yummy, tried it yesterday and we will most likely be eating it for the next few days. I substituted leek for celery because I didn’t have any, also substituted dill for parsley for the same reason. I omitted the vinegar, because it was already pretty tangy, but maybe that depends on the the type of tinned tomatoes used? Came out absolutely lovely, will definitely make it again. Husband liked it too!

    1. Hi, Judith, Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed! You make a great point about the tomatoes. Some are pretty sweet and some are super tangy. I’m going to add “optional” to the recipe for the vinegar. The kielbasa I used had a certain sweetness to it also, and I felt the vinegar helped balance that out. Thanks so much for your feedback and please stay in touch!

  6. 5 stars
    With snow forecast i decided to make this last Saturday. It is extraordinary. I did a couple changes. Instead of pepper flakes i used a jalapeno with seeds removed, added green hatch chilli powder and extra crushed tomatoes. It is perfect for this weather ! Thanks Carol

    1. Thanks, Peter! Sounds delish! My husband would so love the addition of the jalapeno and Hatch green chili powder! Going to keep that in mind the next time I make it. Thanks again!

  7. 5 stars
    This reminds me of something my mother-in-law used to make. I’ve always regretted that I didn’t ask for the recipe……I’m going to make this for my husband and hope its as close as I think it is!